Healthier families, healthier communities

Healthy Connections represents a strong three-fold focus on education.

  1. Mothers who struggle with opiate addiction are educated about addiction, treatment rationale, local resources and the effects of drug exposure on their children. They are also educated about treatment options and interventions that may alleviate the adverse results of drug addiction.
  2. Related professionals and the community at large are educated about the biopsychosocial aspects of addiction and treatment related to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), the long-term effects of drug exposure and the resulting challenges in the development of a secure attachment with caregivers.
  3. Healthy Connections is committed to researching all aspects of this complex problem. Both the research process and resulting outcomes will educate students and scholars, develop local specialized providers, establish Healthy Connections and Marshall University/Health as a center of excellence in the treatment of substance use disorder, ensure the highest quality of treatment and provide guidance to other communities who may struggle with similar concerns.

Educating future healthcare professionals

Likewise, the Healthy Connections Coalition engages Marshall University students from a variety of disciplines. They are provided hands-on training opportunities to learn from professionals and experts in the field while engaging first-hand with struggling families.

This approach offers a two-fold benefit:

  1. Students become invested in the community, which will reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder as they build empathy by working with these families.
  2. This approach will reduce the mental health professional shortage as students will be trained as the next group of experts on best-practices, innovative research and community collaboration.