Nationally, a child is born with withdrawal symptoms every 15 minutes (Vanderbilt University, 2018). This is a marked increase from 2015 when one child was born every 25 minutes (March of Dimes, 2015). The MA Department of Public Health (2017) estimates that 21.4 per 1000 live births are children born opiate dependent. In 2015 that number was 14.5 per 1000. Southeastern, MA has the highest rate of children born dependent, with over 2x that number, at 46.2 per 1000 (2017).
Founded as a 501(c)(3) Massachusetts-based non-profit in 2018, To The Moon and Back, Inc. (TTMAB) is an advocacy organization founded by Theresa Harmon, MSW, LICSW. The organization is dedicated to supporting children born substance exposed and their caregivers. TTMAB provides bi-monthly support groups for caregivers (foster and adoptive parents, relative and non-relative) of children born with substance exposure. The organization serves as a welcoming resource for caregivers to connect with their peers. Expert speakers experienced in children with substance exposure are engaged to educate caregivers and inform communities on the latest in research and best practices for this population. Support programs provide a safe place to discuss parenting and share best practices for caring for children with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or substance exposure. Education programs provide expert speakers and training to industry health providers and social services to help guide the care of those affected. TTMAB is committed to forging one voice as advocates for these children.
In alignment with its mission, TTMAB provides advocacy and recommendations to local and state leaders on the unmet needs of the population and gaps in services for children born with exposure as well as their caregivers. The organization is committed to supporting legislation progress that aspires to ensure that children born substance exposed have all the tools needed to thrive. Initially launched as a peer-to-peer group at the Plymouth Recovery Center in 2017, TTMAB has now expanded, serving more of the Eastern seaboard with a new chapter in West Virginia.
We’re stronger together!
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
– Dr. Suess