FALMOUTH (CBS) — Two-year-old Lucas Alexandrov is a typical toddler; he’s curious, active and playful. What is not typical is the way he came into this world.
His mom, Danielle, was addicted to opioids when she found out she was pregnant.
Related: Opioid Addiction Recovery Resources
“I couldn’t keep a stable job. I couldn’t keep a stable home,” she told WBZ-TV.
Danielle was lucky, she found that stable home at Gosnold at Emerson House. It’s an addiction treatment center in Falmouth, with a wing specifically designed for recovering moms and their newborns.
The women live together, take care of their babies together and work on their recovery together.
According to Angela Shepard, director of the non-profit program, breaking through the grip of addiction is particularly tough for moms.
“Because they love their babies unconditionally and they put their babies first. But their recovery has to come even before their child in order for them to become well,” she explained.
To help support that priority, volunteer babysitters watch the infants while the moms go to group meetings and other treatment appointments.
Danielle is convinced that without the help from the Emerson House, Lucas would be in state custody.
“I’d probably be out there drinking, using drugs and not have my son,” she said.
The residents and the staff believe the connection women make with each other is also a critical part of the success of this program.
“It was the other women saying, you can do this, don’t leave,” Danielle said.
“This house changed my life,” she said, trying to hold back the tears. “I walked out of here like a confident mother.”
Danielle is now two years sober and she and Lucas live together in Falmouth. She also works with other moms in recovery and hopes she can be an inspiration to them.
“I work full time. I go to meetings. I have a really beautiful life,” she said.
Like so many pieces to the opioid puzzle, access to treatment is the hard part. There are not many beds available for facilities like these and most private insurance does not cover this type of care.
This is the second piece in a series of WBZ-TV reports on confronting the opioid crisis in Massachusetts.