Skip to main content

Project Abstract

KentuckyIn 2009, Kentucky significantly exceeded the national average for drug-induced deaths with more than 1,000 people dying each year. The state was also ranked one of the top ten states for non-medical use of pain relievers among persons age 12-17 in the past year. From 2000 to 2012, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Kentucky infants that have been hospitalized with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), with 28 NAS babies hospitalized in 2000, to 824 NAS births reported in 2012. As this rise in diagnosis occurred, the cost to treat children with NAS significantly increased from $235,423 in 2000 to $39,770,716.00 in 2012.

Currently across Kentucky there is great disparity in the services that exist for this population of women and their children. Furthermore, they are uncoordinated and unrelated to each other, resulting in a system of independent silos that often prove ineffective in addressing problems, for women, particularly pregnant women with substance use disorders.

Kentucky’s goal is to develop policies and implement coordinated services that intervene at any of these five stages: pre-pregnancy, prenatal, birth, neonatal, and during child development, thus, moving towards a system of care to address the concerns surrounding substance use prior to pregnancy through post-delivery and beyond.

Kentucky’s plan is to develop a two-pronged approach: to provide expanded prevention services to women of child bearing age, both prior to and during pregnancy; and, expanding treatment services to include universal screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment services (SBIRT) as a routine part of pre-natal care and expanding the availability of treatment, (including MAT) and support services, to women at any of the five (5) stages of intervention.

Major Program Goals

  • Goal 1: Ensure the process continues and moves forward toward goals established in the SAMHSA Policy Forum Action Plan, and includes balanced input from all team members, liasons and the community.
  • Goal 2: Research/inform/educate team and committee memebers about best practices and plans from other states or national resources that are useful for reaching the action plan goals.
  • Goal 3: Assist with writing action plans in a framework that will be easy to communicate to a broader audience.

Administrative Structure

The lead agency is Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. The Project Liaisons are Maggie Schroeder, Branch Manager of the Substance Abuse Treatment Branch, and Connie Smith, Branch Manager of the Substance Abuse Prevention Branch. Together, they will lead the SEI-IDTA Core Team meetings along with the assigned Change Leader, Linda Carpenter, from NCSACW. Ms. Schroeder and Ms. Smith will assume responsibility for communications between the SEI-IDTA Core Team and NCSACW. Designated Core Team members will report SEI-IDTA updates to the Oversight Committee.

Key Partner Agencies

The Substance Exposed Infants In-Depth Technical Assistance program encourages effective collaboration and partnerships, which are essential to systems improvement and change. Cross-system linkages between substance abuse treatment, child welfare, early childhood and education, dependency court, and other service systems are essential to the SEI-IDTA scope of work.

Currently, the following partners are involved in Kentucky:

Child Welfare

  • Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS)
  • Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team (START)
Health Services
  • Kentucky Department of Public Health
  • Division of Behavioral Health and Developmental Intellectual Disabilities
Other Services
  • Director of Division of Audits and Investigations
  • Office of Drug Control Policy
  • Department of Medicaid Services
  • Partnership for Success


Request Technical Assistance

Back to Top