Mothers share stories of recovery, hope, and healing at 9th Annual NAS Symposium

SAN ANTONIO – Several mothers shared their journeys and stories of recovery at the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Symposium, which was held at the Hilton San Antonio Hill Country.

This year’s theme was Thriving in Recovery: Creating a Continuum for Healthy, Safe, and Prosperous Communities.

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“The NAS Symposium is really important because it brings an awareness to substance use disorders. Really addressing the stigma associated with that. And also, it brings other health care disciplines all together where we come together, united to learn to provide better care for our patients,” said Laura Sisk, DNP, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor at UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing.

The symposium gives healthcare professionals and organizations a space to exchange ideas and information to support families recovering from substance use disorder.

Julie Ball shared her story of hope and healing to help other mothers going through similar situations.

Ball said in 2019, she went into a NAS program designed to help mothers to maintain a healthy pregnancy while receiving medication-assisted treatment.

“I got connected to NAS back in July of 2019 after a three-week relapse on prescription painkillers on oxycodone I was seeking to detox in San Antonio, and I learned that I was pregnant with a third child,” Ball said.

Ball said she lost her child in October of 2019 and during this difficult time, she received support from organizations.

“I went through a 90-day program with NAS Rehab, and then from NAS I went to Casa Mia, which is the transitional housing for women,” Ball said.

Casa Mia is a partnership between the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing and the local nonprofit Crosspoint Inc. that provides recovery support services and housing for women and children impacted by substance use.

Casa Mia opened its doors in December of 2018 and has helped many families.

“There are resources out there. I want people to know that you’re not alone,” Ball said.

She looks forward to helping more families in the future.

“I work for a behavioral health crisis center. I supervise peer specialists. And so, just learning, like, how to better help people that are going through the same things as me and to help people to, you know, gain their life back,” Ball said.

If you or someone you love is suffering with substance use disorder, there are cost friendly and even free options:

The number for Be Well Texas is (888) 85-BEWELL or (888) 852-3955.

To get resources from SACADA, call (210) 225-4741.

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