Part Two: Mom Loses Custody of Newborn Because of Postpartum Pills (KNWA)


thinking about the Capitol, who don’t have the money to pay high-cost lobbyists to advocate for their issues,” ((JENNIFER)) TODAY’S LUNCH AT THE CAPITOL HILL APARTMENTS WAS ORGANIZED BY THE ARKANSAS HUNGER RELIEF ALLIANCE. ### ((JENNIFER)) THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DECLARED THE NATIONWIDE OPIOID CRISIS A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY IN 2017. IT’S AN EPIDEMIC THAT’S HAVING AN IMPACT ON EVEN THE MOST UNLIKELY OF PEOPLE– NEW MOTHERS. IN PART TWO OF HER SPECIAL REPORT– FOX 24’S CHELSEA HELMS– ORANGE BOTTLE TURNED INTO MANY… AND TO THIS DAY, SHE IS STILL PAYING THE HIGH COST OF THE PILLS. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“It was like a whole new world for the hospital, got this new little bundle of joy and then this little bitty orange bottle comes in and trashes everything” ((CHELSEA)) PERCOCET. ((CHELSEA)) PRESCRIBED TO KAHLER PENDERGRASS AFTER SHE HAD A C- SECTION. SHE WAS JUST SHY OF 18. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“they ended up giving me a prescription for 40 percocet, I remember vividly.” ((CHELSEA)) LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LATER – SHE SAYS – DOCTORS PRESCRIBED 40 MORE. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“I very quickly got addicted to them.” Dr. James W. Gorman/Partner, Parkhill Clinic-“these aren’t people who are looking for trouble or anything, they just have PRESCRIBING TO PATIENTS. Dr. James W. Gorman/Partner, Parkhill Clinic-“We go through the Arkansas Prescription Monitoring System so we can see what a patient has used in the past, what patterns of use they have, PAIN …. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“I would just like go ahead and take it at two hours instead because you know, I didn’t have to listen to anybody” ((CHELSEA)) TO ABUSING THEM. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“Once I ran out of those I had to find different ways to find them” ((CHELSEA)) SHE BEGAN PURCHASING THE PILLS FROM DRUG DEALERS. THEN, ONE NIGHT ON THE WAY HOME FROM ILLEGALLY BUYING THE DRUGS.. PENDERGRASS.. HER NEW BABY GIRL…AND THE CHILD’S FATHER WERE IN AN ACCIDENT. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“I don’t really remember the wreck because I had a brain bleed” ((CHELSEA)) THERE WERE DRUGS IN THE CAR AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH.. SO THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES STEPPED IN. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth-“I remember every second of it. From them knocking on the door and me answering the door and immediately wishing that I hadn’t, to her saying we’re going to remove her from your custody.” ((CHELSEA)) PENDERGRASS’ DAUGHTER – JUST TWO MONTHS OLD. Campuses-“hitting bottom is a must” ((CHELSEA)) TWANA NIXON– A RECOVERING ADDICT HERSELF–NOW WORKS AS A TREATMENT SPECIALIST… SHE SAYS PEOPLE LIKE PENDERGRASS OFTEN LET THE EUPHORIC FEELING OF BEING HIGH… RATIONALIZE THEIR USE OF THE PILLS. Twana Nixon/ Recovering Addicted/ Treatment Specialist, Addiction Campuses-“when the opioid attaches to the opioid receptor, it releases the endorphins in the brain and the endorphins are the feel good transmitters” ((CHELSEA)) on just having one more fix and then it comes to a point that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get that next fix.” ((CHELSEA)) PENDERGRASS NOW RECALLS BEING AT HER LOWEST OF LOWS… AND WHAT IT COST HER. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth “the time that I did have with her before I lost custody of her I was too busy trying to get another pill” ((CHELSEA)) AND THAT PROMPTED HER TO SOBER UP. Kahler Pendergrass/ Became Addicted To Percocet After Birth- “I would take the pills and then I’d feel better for a little while then I’d go right back was even missing her, it was just like one vicious cycle so I was like, its got to stop somewhere” ((CHELSEA)) THREE YEARS LATER… PENDERGRASS SAYS SHE REMAINS SOBER…. BUT STILL DOESN’T HAVE CUSTODY OF HER FIRST CHILD. SHE HAS SINCE GIVEN BIRTH TO A SECOND BABY. PENDERGRASS SAYS HER DOCTOR PRESCRIBED PERCOCET AGAIN – EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS ONCE ADDICTED TO IT… BUT SHE CHOSE TO NOT ((JENNIFER)) THE COMMUNITY IS INVITED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COURTS FACILITY PROPOSAL WHICH IS UP FOR VOTE ON MARCH

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