SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

As Skip Johnstone, MD, founder of The Tides, Inc, signs another contract with New Hanover County for the 2019- 2020 fiscal year for the intensive, outpatient opioid treatment program for pregnant women and new moms, he has hope for the future of opioid-addicted moms. In 2018, New Hanover County Commissioners committed to financing the Tides Program for 3 years, as a pilot project, and set the goal of assisting 24 clients during the first year.

“2019 has been a big year so far,” explained Johnstone. “We opened our first transitional living facility and already have a waiting list for women that need housing so they can stay with their babies. We have seen great success with women as they have learned how to love themselves and others, understand addiction, become responsible with life skills, get healthy and be the best version of themselves for their babies.”

During this first fiscal year of the program, 36 women were assessed for program admission with 33 (92%) admitted to the program. Of the three women not accepted, all were referred to other resources. Two of them due to distance barriers and the other due to physical and mental needs that were outside of the scope of the Tides program.

“Through June 30, 11 babies were born,” stated Debbie Kinsey, Tides Executive Director. “Although all the babies born to our women were considered NAS births, most were due to only the presence of buprenorphine (Medication Assisted Therapy) which is less harmful to the baby and causes reduced withdrawals than the previous opioids the women were using when they entered the program. 100% of these babies remain in some form of custody with their mothers or family members and remain outside of the long-term foster care system.”

The Tides’ executive board adapted an evidence-based treatment model to design the program based on county needs, social determinants, strengths, and resources. The program model reflects a collaborative community consortium where existing community partners integrate their services to engage women in the recovery process to keep the mother-child dyad intact.

In addition to New Hanover County, The Tides, Inc is honored to work with the following community partners: LINC (Leading into New Communities), Coastal Horizons, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Step Up Wilmington, Christian Recovery House and Smart Start of New Hanover County.

Debbie Kinsey
Executive Director, Tides Inc.
Phone: 910-372-4020