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Intersection: Pregnancy And Addiction


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Dixie Morgese, Hillary Medlin, and Pamela Carbiener. Photo: Matthew Peddie WMFE.

Florida’s opioid epidemic triggered a public health emergency. Dr. Pamela Carbiener helps treat the pregnant and addicted, and mothers going through detox with their newborn babies.

In Volusia and Flagler Counties where she works, the number of newborn babies detoxing from opioids has doubled in the last five years and at any one time there are one to three cases where newborns are suffering symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.

Carbiener, an OBGYN in Daytona Beach, joined Intersection along with Hillary Medlin, a young mother who went through detox with her son, and Dixie Morgese executive director of Healthy Start Flagler and Volusia County to talk about pregnancy and addiction.

“This is our bubonic plague, our cholera, our Spanish flu, and how our medical community and communities at large react to it is really going to show our mettle and how we are judged in the future,” Carbiener said.

Medlin is now a peer recover specialist in training with Healthy Start to help other young mothers like herself.

“There is hope out there and there’s people that care, there’s mothers that have had their children taken away, and reunification stories,” Medlin said.

“It can happen and if you want it to happen, that it is hard but there are people that care and are nurturing and that will help you and provide for you.”


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