Dauphin County program helps addicted moms get clean

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A program in Dauphin County is helping drug-addicted mothers get clean and improve their parenting skills.

Deanna Garcia was 15 when she ran away and found that drugs gave her comfort she’d never had. From the age of 15 to 30, she was addicted to crack. While in prison for theft, she found out she was pregnant with her son Shawn.

“I’ve made mistakes because of drugs and I realized where it stemmed from,” Garcia said.

It stemmed from not having a place to turn for help. Then she found Baby Love at Hamilton Health Center.

“You can come to us. You can tell us anything that’s going on. It doesn’t really matter where you’re coming from or what you want to do, we’re here to support and we’re not going to judge you,” said Tara Zimmerman of Baby Love.

Baby Love offers free addiction and pregnancy services for women. It’s funded by Dauphin County.

People who qualify for help are using or have a history of substance abuse, are pregnant, or have a child younger than five and live in Dauphin County.

Right now, Baby Love is helping 26 mothers, including Garcia.

“It feels like they’re family, like they’re not against you, and you can come to them with anything and they’re not going to be mean about it,” Garcia said.

She’s getting all the help she needs with counseling and treatment and her son will get free diapers. He was not born addicted, so his health is excellent and these days so is Garcia’s.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Baby Love at 1-866-530-BABY.

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