TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — CODAC is helping pregnant mothers cope with the recovery process from addiction as they navigate motherhood.
Experts say that pregnant and parenting mothers like Brittany Clark have extra challenges while going through recovery, but they can get the tools needed to make it through the process. KGUN 9 spoke to Clark, who says she loves her three children.
Clark is three years sober after recovering from an addiction to meth. It all started when she was 18 years old. That's when someone at a party told her to try it. That’s all it took -- she was hooked.
“I wanted so bad to be that mom again and get sober and I tried so hard. I had to be done with the drug to get to where I’m at today,” Clark said.
After two DCS cases and a new pregnancy, Clark knew it was time to get her life together. Determined to get her kids back, she went to CODAC and stayed at the Hillman House for 2 months during her third pregnancy. Clark got schooled on coping skills, peer support, triggers and managing her new life.
“It was very hard because meth is a very addictive drug, but with all of the resources here and the support and the groups and holding yourself accountable it was a great place for me to be, to recover and work on myself with my kids,” Clark said.
Nowadays Clark is a certified recovery support specialist at CODAC.
"I get to work with people with mental health and in substance abuse. I get to give back to my peers,” Clark said.
Addiction Services Director Alex Fernandez says moms in recovery need a secure and stable environment to successfully complete the program. They also teamed up with Tucson Medical Center to provide extra services to families.
"We have nurses who come on site and pediatric developmental specialist who also come here,” Fernandez said.
According to Fernandez, over the past year 85% of participants became gainfully employed and out of the 56 women who stayed on-site during that time, 32 successfully finished the program. Sixteen babies were born and 10 reunifications were achieved
"Right now, we’re set up for 15 total members and their children. At this moment we have 10 members with 8 children,” Fernandez said.
Clients can stay at the complex anywhere from 2 months to a year depending on the situation and recovery process.
“It's real important for people to know that there are services, and no one will be turned away,” Fernandez said.
Now Clark is moving forward to fulfill her purpose in life, to help others who are struggling find a new path to sobriety and a brighter future.
"I’m so blessed for my kids they keep me going every day. I learn something new with them every day and I could not imagine life without them. I’m so blessed and grateful for this life that I have now with them,” Clark said.