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Karen's Place 'believed in me': Maternity center helps newborns, mothers battling drug dependency

Daily Independent - 2/11/2021

Feb. 11—According to an Addiction Recovery Care press release, 16 of every 1,000 babies in Kentucky are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome signs or symptoms. In eastern Kentucky, that number is two-and-a-half times higher — 40 of every 1,000.

ARC opened Karen's Place Maternity Center three years ago with the purpose of giving expecting mothers hope during their recovery.

Karen's Place, in partnership with King's Daughters Medical Center and the University of Kentucky's Blue Angels program, have helped welcome 149 babies — 76% of them returned to the center with their mother within five days.

"Babies born with NAS are born into agony, suffering from withdrawal symptoms and requiring specialized intensive neonatal care. Karen's Place Maternity Center is designed as an early intervention for pregnant and postpartum women to receive treatment for their addiction and give birth to a healthy baby," said Tim Robinson, ARC's CEO and founder.

Toddra Curry is one of the many mothers KPMC's staff helped overcome addiction, according to ARC. She first entered the facility at 17 weeks pregnant on Jan. 12, 2017.

"I had been in and out of jails since turning 18 years old," said Curry. "I was addicted to IV opiates. I had accepted that my life was too far gone, and I would never be able to do anything different."

However, Karen's Place and its compassionate staff assisted in opening her eyes to a new reality.

"They loved me when nobody else would, they believed in me when I couldn't believe in myself," Curry elaborated. "It was a beautiful experience. I formed a bond with my daughter that is unbreakable. Today, I can be her mother and show her how much I love her."

Clients are eligible to receive residential treatment throughout their entire pregnancy and up to three months post-delivery while learning parenting skills. The baby and mother live together at the facility, giving mothers in recovery a chance to develop that critical early bond.

Curry is now a full-time employee of ARC, serving as program manager at Creekside, an ARC residential center for women. She directly receives calls from the judge who once sent her to prison asking for help in getting men and women into treatment, according to ARC. She has full custody of her children and is now married.

Karen's Place is on the KDMC campus in Ashland. It brings in up to 21 mothers and expecting mothers at a time. While there, mothers receive individual counseling along with weekly recovery small group and group therapy sessions, according to ARC. State-certified case managers work with each client to improve their recovery environment by addressing family, educational, housing and vocational needs.

ARC, headquartered in Louisa, operates a network of more than 28 addiction treatment centers in 27 counties in eastern and central Kentucky. Visit or call (606) 653-0302 for more information.


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