New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center is proud to partner with the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH); The Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of RI (SUMHLC); Behavioral Healthcare Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals (BHDDH); RI Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF); and the Rhode Island College School of Nursing, to sponsor the 4th Annual Rhode Island Substance-Exposed Newborns Conference. This year's theme is Building Bridges to Support Families Affected by Prenatal Substance Use.
Like the families they serve, Rhode Island providers are affected by the current syndemic of increasing substance use and mental health crises, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Low wages and reimbursement rates, high staff turnover, and pandemic-related stress have placed unprecedented strains on providers who care for people who use substances during pregnancy. For families affected by prenatal substance use, lack of warm hand-off referrals and linkages to specialized support services, coupled with an increased risk of stress-related substance use, mental health symptoms, and relapse can contribute to poor outcomes.