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New Grant Coming To Help Addicted Moms In Volusia

The Healthy Start in Volusia and Flagler counties has gotten a $240,000 grant to help addicted mothers.

The Healthy Start Coalition of Volusia and Flagler Counties has gotten a $240,000 grant to help with addicted mothers.

The grant will go toward housing, long-acting birth control, mental health care, peer support – a litany of wrap-around services to help addicted mothers get clean and get their children back.

Opiate addiction during pregnancy is a growing problem in Florida. The rate of drug-addicted newborns in Florida has grown tenfold in the last two decades, triple the national increase.

“Our legislators are really identifying mental health and substance abuse at the core of many of our issues,” said Dixie Morgese, the director of the Healthy Start in Volusia County. “It’s at the core of employment issues, it’s at the core of child welfare issues.”

Morgese said the Women Assisting Recovering Mothers program, or WARM, currently  72 mothers in the residential treatment program in Volusia and another 35 on a waiting list.

“It used to be maybe we saw 20, 30 in a year,” Morgese said. “It’s an explosion and a really challenging issue.”

The grant runs through the middle of next year.

-- Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.