Horizon Behavioral Health to start program for pregnant, postpartum women battling substance abuse

If you need help with treatment, call the Horizon admissions hotline at 434-477-5000

LYNCHBURG, Va.Horizon Behavioral Health in Lynchburg is dedicating more than $670,000 in state funding to reduce substance abuse for pregnant and postpartum women, as well as mothers with children up to age five.

“The goal is to link the women to the resources in the community that they need to reach those successful outcomes,” said Marianne Powell, an outpatient program manager who oversees the initiative Project Link.

The services will include individual assessments, working with case managers, peer coaching, counseling, home visits and help with childcare needs.

Powell says the program is vital because they’re seeing an uptick in the Lynchburg area when it comes to substance abuse involving opioids, meth, cocaine and PCP.

“We have an increase in postpartum referrals, which are referrals we get from our hospital system, for either women or babies that have tested positive for substance at birth,” said Powell.

She says in 2020, Horizon received nearly 200 hospital-referred cases in the Lynchburg region.

That number dipped to 150 cases in 2021.

But so far in 2022, they’ve received 99 hospital-referred cases -- with each month, January through May, doubled compared to the same month last year.

“Having a specialized program for them is very helpful to have a place where they feel welcomed and not stigmatized,” said Powell.

She says the goal is to have the program up and running this summer.

If you need help with treatment, call the Horizon admissions hotline at 434-477-5000.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.