Latest Story In 'Hooked' Series Tackles Opioid Addiction, Pregnancy And Stigma

Aug 23, 2019

The stigma surrounding opioid addiction is pervasive. Many grappling with it, and even those years into their recovery, often struggle to talk with their doctors or families about it. But when addiction and recovery intersect with pregnancy, that stigma is only amplified. 

Health care providers may not know how to talk to an expectant mother about addiction, or how detox drugs like buprenorphine might affect the pregnancy.

These mothers also contend with the constant fear that revealing drug use could mean their baby is taken away.

This year, writer Kate O’Neill has worked with Seven Days on the series "Hooked: Stories and Solutions from Vermont's Opioid Crisis." Her work often re-examines the life of her sister, Madelyn Linsenmeir, whose bracing obituary O'Neill wrote in Oct. 2018. The obituary was candid about Linsenmeir's opioid-related death, and went viral soon after it was published.

O'Neill's latest story focuses on pregnant women, new mothers and opioids. She joins Vermont Edition to discuss the stigma, shame and medical care hurdles women with opioid-use disorder and in recovery often face.

Broadcast live on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.