New Hampshire program helps treat pregnant substance abuse users

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — Experts from the University of New Hampshire are teaming up with several New England health care providers to offer education and support in rural areas for pregnant women with substance abuse disorders.

Health care providers from Aroostook County in Maine, northern and central New Hampshire and southern Vermont will get access to behavioral health experts through a telehealth system. The experts will work to identify clinical strategies, screening tools and available resources.

According to the Division for Children, Youth and Families, nearly 470 New Hampshire babies were born exposed to drugs in 2016 compared with 367 in 2014. Many babies suffer the effects of withdrawal from opioids, experiencing lower birth weight and other complications resulting in longer hospital stays.

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