A long-term recovery program that specifically helps pregnant women battling addiction, is now open in New Hampshire.
According to co-founder Kerry Norton, a young woman by the name of Abi and her son Parker, are the inspiration behind Hope on Haven Hill in Rochester.
“This girl is just the comeback miracle of my life,” Norton said.
Abi was eight months pregnant and using heroin when she called Norton, her former nurse, for help.
“I went and picked her up and she looked like she was dying,” Norton said in an interview Tuesday.
Norton brought Abi to the hospital. Later that night, Norton began the year-and-a-half-long journey to open a long-term recovery center for pregnant women battling addiction.
“I put on Facebook that night 'does anyone know Oprah, Ellen or somebody rich, because we need to do better than this,'” Norton recalled.
With the help of private donations and federal funds, Hope on Haven Hill officially opened at the beginning of December.
The 8 beds available were filled immediately and the wait list started to grow.
There are 25 women on that wait list and Norton tells necn it will be longer by Wednesday.
The residential facility provides comprehensive substance abuse treatment while ensuring the women get proper medical care before they give birth and up to a year postpartum.
“We did everything we possibly could to make it look like a home, feel like a home, act like a home,” Norton said.
Hospitals nationwide are reporting a sharp rise in the number of babies being born addicted to drugs.
“Just at one local hospital in our area, last year, 10 percent of babies born were born with NAS, I think about 110 babies,” Norton said.
The alarming statistic making the need for a place like this greater than ever before.
“The women that I know don’t want to be suffering and if they could stop on their own they would, but they can’t,” Norton said. “We need to make sure people get the help they need.”
All of the women on the wait list get weekly counseling and a recovery coach.
Norton says for some, that’s enough. For others, they’ll keep waiting until there is space.