New treatment options in Memphis for expectant mothers addicted to drugs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A new law in Tennessee has mothers facing jail time or rehab if they give birth to a baby who tests positive for drugs. Now pregnant women addicted to drugs can go to a new treatment center in Memphis.

The folks with the Salvation Army say they're not making a judgement against this new Tennessee state law, but they are taking action. They want to keep expectant mothers out of the court system and in treatment.

Stacie Glover first came to the Salvation Army when she was four months pregnant, and addicted to drugs.

"I would have been prosecuted," she said.

She says the rehab services here aren't just about fighting addiction, but also teaching women about raising a family.

"Women begin to learn how to parent, and how to be a mother. All of those things while they are here," she said.

The Hardin House is their newest outpatient clinic. It's meant to be a place for women to come to before their due date, and start working through their addiction.

Program directors say they want to get women like Jamillah Falls in treatment. Falls is the first mother to face criminal charges in Shelby County under this new law out of the court system.

Sharon Cash is the Hardin House program director and agrees this law puts women in a tough place, but says they aren't the only ones affected by the addiction.

"There is some significant reasons that they would put in place, because so many children are harmed as a result of that," she said.

Recovering addicts say the court mandated treatment usually isn't enough to get a handle on the problem. They need another option to continue their fight.

Glover said, "For a person who has used drugs for more than two years, they need more than 30 to 90 days to recover."

Fighting the cycle of addiction, one day at a time.


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