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Oklahoma City - An OSU Degree in OKC.

‘Tough as a Mother’ program to visit OSU-OKC

Katie Harrison from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse will be on campus to discuss "Tough as a Mother." This is a new program to help Oklahoma mothers or soon-to-be mothers with support towards recovery. Harrison will speak at 11 a.m. Sept. 18 in Conference Room South.

The program launched in July to help connect women to substance abuse treatment options.

“Since 1999, the number of pregnant women diagnosed with substance use disorder has increased fourfold in Oklahoma,” said Harrison, Senior Program Manager of Adult & Family-centered Substance Use Treatment & Recovery Service, in a news release. “The stigma associated with pregnant and parenting persons with a substance use disorder, along with potential legal and societal consequences, has resulted in this population being difficult to reach and oftentimes reluctant to seek treatment or engage in prenatal care. We are launching this campaign to reach this population, destigmatize their substance use issues, and provide a connection to treatment providers.”

According to materials from the department, seeking support does not mean you have to go to treatment right away. A provider works with women to help design a treatment plan that meets them where they are. The provider will help create a Family Care Plan – a living document that helps advocate for family needs and healthy pregnancies as part of their goals, developed in partnership with the family.  ODMHSAS’s contracted substance use treatment providers have been rolling out Family Care plans across the state to help support families affected by substance use issues.

“Substance use disorder is a treatable, chronic, medical disease that can impact the whole family when one person is struggling. Reducing stigma and providing a connection to care is vitally important to decreasing substance use, preserving the parent-infant bond, strengthening our families and communities, and disrupting cycles of trauma and generational trauma that impact our state,” said Harrison. “Whether it’s during pregnancy, post-partum or years later, mothers and families dealing with addiction issues need support to be successful.”