Substance Use Treatment in Pregnancy

A Success Story

Excerpts from an interview with a Project CARA graduate

Q: Why did you choose to participate in Project CARA?

A: I didn’t want to risk using at all. Period. I just didn’t want to live like that.

When I got pregnant, I was really stressed out. A relative told me about Project CARA. She had already been through the program. She said it was really great and promised I would like it. She told me Project CARA wasn’t like other places. They didn’t judge you. They really cared.

Q: What was most important to you during your pregnancy?

A: Being healthy. Having a healthy baby. Staying clean.

Q: What was most helpful about Project CARA?

A: To be honest, there’s so much that they did. I had access to so many different support people. Whenever I needed to talk to someone again or check in, they were always available. They came to my doctor’s appointments or met with me beforehand or after. They helped me process everything that was going on and were understanding and really compassionate. MAHEC picked the right staff for this program.

Q: How is Project CARA different from other support you’ve gotten?

A: It’s completely different. The fact that I’ve used is in my medical records. I want people to have the information they need to care for me. But once people find out you’ve used, you get those looks of judgment. They treat you completely different. You don’t feel like a patient. You feel looked down upon. Nobody deserves that. Nobody can get healthy with that kind of treatment. If you’re pregnant and using, you get judged even more harshly.

It’s not like that at Project CARA. They treat you with respect and really care. It was beautiful.

Have you noticed a change from before you started the program to where you are today?

Yes. It’s been huge. Astronomical. One of the reasons I used was to numb the pain from losing custody of my son. Project CARA helped me stay clean. I never would have gotten my son back if I was still using.  I’ve been really blessed.

Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about participating in Project CARA?

Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. That was my number one struggle. You walk in ashamed to get help because of the way you’ve been treated in the past. A lot of places don’t personalize your care at all, but they do at Project CARA. So don’t be ashamed. Don’t be scared.

Q: What are your goals moving forward?

A: Just take it one day at a time: take care of the baby, take care of my son, and take care of myself. Then take it from there.