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$500K grant helps incarcerated pregnant women with substance use disorders

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Posted at 4:23 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 07:36:07-04

TULSA, Okla. — Grant money is helping pregnant women in jail deal with substance use disorders and have healthy children. The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $500,000 to the OSU Center for Health Sciences for the program.

“It was very life changing for me,” said Stephanie Wyrick.

Stephanie Wyrick is a peer recovery support specialist helping women dealing with substance abuse at the Hardesty Center for Clinical Research and Neuroscience. 

She’s also a graduate of Women in Recovery, a prison diversion program that helps women dealing with addiction.

“It helped me build a foundation that I will carry with me forever,” said Wyrick. “Me and my kids have a better chance at success now.”

Nearly $500,000 in grant money is helping women get a chance at a new life.

“There is always hope,” said Wyrick.

The group behind the grant money toured the Hardesty Center for Clinical Research and Neuroscience Thursday morning. The research from the Hardesty Center is helping program leaders implement new ideas.

“We are able to take that research and then apply it to the grants that we’re writing for and actually implement,” said Chetana Musapeta.

Chetana Musapeta is the project manager of the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome grant.

“We know that substance use disorders and incarceration rates go hand in hand,” said Musapeta.

They offer both prenatal care and educational services at 6 rural area jails. Musapeta says about 65% of women behind bars in Oklahoma have a substance use disorder. She says their program has helped hundreds of women so far.

“Substance abuse is not a moral failing, it’s a disease,” said Musapeta. “We can work through this and recovery is possible.”


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