BMC program uses volunteer cuddlers to calm babies born dependent on opioids

The victim was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment,
–David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Volunteers are lining up to participate in a Boston Medical Center program that helps newborns born dependent on opioids through cuddling, STAT reports.

The program, Cuddling Assists in Lowering Maternal and infant stress, focuses on providing non-pharmacologic care for babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, according to the health publication.

Babies born dependent on opioids usually get methadone to ease their symptoms, but with the CALM program, volunteers spend two hours with an infant showing signs of withdrawal, STAT reports.

“They’re calmed by the fact that someone is holding them,” pediatrician Dr. Elisha Wachman, who runs the program, told STAT.  


Since it was launched last month, CALM has about 100 volunteer cuddlers, with another 200 potential volunteers on the waiting list.  

Read the full report at STAT.  

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