Doctor: Opioid Program Will Build on Pilot Successes

Posted: Updated:
(photo courtesy Community Health Network) (photo courtesy Community Health Network)

A physician at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis says the program announced Monday by Governor Eric Holcomb to curb opioid addiction among expectant mothers and newborn babies will expand upon efforts that have already seen success. Anthony Sanders says the funding from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will help grow the program beyond Indy's east side.

The Community Health Network Neonatal Opioid Addiction Project was born out of a pilot program at Community East. Sanders says while a small number of women have successfully completed the program, more needs to be done to address the issue of opioid use disorder in pregnant women and children being born addicted to opioids, also known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. 

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Sanders says while the problem of opioid abuse and NAS hasn't necessarily grown, the spotlight on it has gotten wider.

"Because of that and because of programs like what we have and also programs that address addiction in non-pregnant patients in general, the more available that they are and the more attention that this problem receives, the more impact that these programs are going to have," says Sanders. "One of the benefits of the spotlight on the problem is that it's starting to chip away at the stigma of addiction and, in particular, opioid addiction."

Sanders says the program not only provides medication-assisted therapy for mothers, but also group therapy with other moms in similar situations, one-on-one counseling addressing their addiction needs, and assistance with other mental health disorders. 

Sanders says the goal of the program is to eliminate NAS and opioid addiction among mothers, but there is a lot of work to be done before that can happen.

"We are still at the tip of the iceberg to say the least," he says. "We've had 67 women come through our program as of our last count over a year and a half to two years and that's just not enough because I know there are more women out there."

He says he hopes to expand the services offered through the program to other Community Health Network locations in central Indiana.

Sanders says while the problem of opioid abuse and NAS hasn't necessarily grown, the spotlight on it has gotten wider.
Sanders says the program has been going well but there's a lot of work still to do.
  • Perspectives

    • Greg Ballard is the former mayor of Indianapolis and a co-founder and current board member of Indy Women in Tech.

      Shining a Spotlight on Women in Tech

      I still get a thrill driving through the gates of our legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway and I will be lucky enough to do so for an entire week soon. This week, the best women golfers in the world will once again display their talents at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in the Indy Women in Tech Championship. However, the tournament is much more than an athletic competition. It is an opportunity to support a solution to a critical economic and workforce development issue.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • U.S. Steel 'Renaissance' Spurs $750M Gary Works Investment

      Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) has announced a $750 million investment in its Gary Works operations. The company says the funds are part of a $2 billion asset revitalization effort that will take place over the next five years. Last year, U.S. Steel detailed plans that involved pumping $35 million into Gary Works, which followed the $23 million first phase of its Hot Strip Mill Restoration Plan. The latest investment, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says...

    • (Rendering of phase two of the Riverfront Fort Wayne project provided by the city of Fort Wayne.)

      Fort Wayne Riverfront Contract Pulled

      A proposed $2.5 million contract for the design work for the next two phases of the Riverfront Fort Wayne project has been pulled. Our partners at WPTA-TV report the Fort Wayne City Council withdrew the contract, which was set to go to Philadelphia-based DAVID RUBIN Land Collective.

    • Fort Wayne Radio Icon Butcher Passes Away

      A fixture in the Fort Wayne radio scene has passed away. Charly Butcher spent more than 30 years in Fort Wayne radio with a successful morning show on WMEE-FM and, most recently, as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News" on WOWO radio. Butcher was 61. Butcher was part of WMEE's popular "Those Two Guys In The Morning" show with Tony Richards in the 1980s. He joined WOWO in the mid-2000s as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News With Charly Butcher."

    • Security Company Announces Layoffs at FedEx Hub

      Indianapolis-based security company Andy Frain Services Inc. has announced plans to lay off nearly 150 workers at the FedEx Indy Hub facility at the Indianapolis International Airport. In a notice to the state, the company says the layoffs are due the termination of a contract for its security services.

    • The building will be converted to the Aloft Indianapolis Downtown

      Historic Downtown Indy Building to Become Hotel

      A hotel owner and operator with offices in Columbus and New York has acquired a historic building in downtown Indianapolis. Everwood Hospitality Partners says it has invested $5 million to acquire the former Stockyards Bank Building and plans to invest an additional $13 million to transform the building into a 128-room hotel. The 12-story building, which was built in 1898, will become the Aloft Indianapolis Downtown. Renovation work is expected to begin in the...