A recent study from the University of Illinois took a look at how the use of a recovery coach may benefit pregnant women struggling with substance abuse problems.
In the study, recovery coaches – case workers with special training in addiction, relapse prevention, case management and counseling – were shown to reduce the number of future substance-exposed babies and increase the likelihood that mothers will be reunited with their children removed by child welfare systems.
Participants of the study included 931 women who had lost temporary custody of their children and were chronic substance abusers. Half of the women received basic child welfare and substance abuse services, while the other half had the same basic services plus a recovery coach. The recovery coach’s goal was to get mothers into substance abuse treatment and keep them there.
The findings showed that 21% of mothers receiving standard services gave birth to additional substance abuse babies, while only 15% of mothers with recovery coaches gave birth to subsequent substance abuse children. According to the study, which lasted 5 years, recovery coaches saved the state of Illinois $5.5 million in foster care and other placement costs.
Read more about the study on the About.com:Alcoholism website: Recovery Coaches Reduce Babies Exposed to Drugs For Women With Substance Abuse Problems