On Monday, First Lady Melania Trump rolled out her “Be Best” campaign. It’s dedicated to educating children on three main pillars: opioid abuse, social media and well being.
The First Lady said she’ll work to raise awareness of programs and places serving these issues. The program will also push for healthy living, and an awareness of the dangers that alcohol and drugs pose to unborn babies.
In Indiana, a new program is already trying to treat mothers with addictions, and the babies who are born addicted.
The Community Health Network announced a program that will treat mothers who are addicted and their babies. It starts with education and support and ends with specialized care for the babies. It’s made possible because of a more than $500,000 grant from the state.
A pilot program at an Indianapolis hospital reported 45 percent of drug screens of expectant mothers in 2016 came back positive.
“There’s going to be a whole generation of kids whose parents have died of drug overdoses,” Andrea Schroeder said.
Schroeder’s grandchildren are a part of that generation. Three little girls lost their mom only a few months after she started using heroin.
“She should be here,” Schroeder said. “She should be with her kids.”
Schroeder has now dedicated her life to educate families on the dangers of opioid abuse, and support those already affected.
She was thrilled to see First Lady Melania Trump take the issue up as part of her Be Best campaign. She hopes Trump’s focus on addiction and newborns also focuses on the mothers like Indiana’s program.
“I understand the user’s side too,” Schroeder said. “It’s probably very hard for them to quit. So we need to take care of the women that are pregnant.”
Even as children get older they’re affected. The Indiana Department of Child Services reported in 2016 52 percent of children removed from homes was a direct result of substance abuse. In 2013 that number was 31 percent.
Schroeder would like to see a push for children support groups for those young ones.
She’s started her own. You can find out more about them through her organization Miriah’s Journey.