University of Louisville Magazine

FALL 2017

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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14 UOFLMAGAZINE.COM M usic has proven useful in aiding a damaged soul, but could it also help infants suffering from drug withdrawal? Michael Detmer and Darcy DeLoach, University of Louisville music therapy faculty, recently pub- lished a groundbreaking pilot study HEALING INFANTS WITH LULLABIES that concludes music therapy may be an effective therapy for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a condition resulting from in-utero drug exposure. The study, published in "imagine" magazine, showed that babies who received music therapy via a pacifier-activated lullaby device had less drug with- drawal symptoms, which may result in less reliance on pain medication and earlier dismissal from the hospital. Detmer said the study is important as hospitals are looking for ways to help the growing number of babies with NAS. Nationally, that number ballooned 400 percent in the last decade as the opioid crisis wors- ened. Kentucky has seen a 23-fold increase since 2001, spiking the cost of babies admitted with withdrawal symptoms to $90 million with nearly 80 percent of those costs incurred by Medicaid. "So far, there's not been a published study like this," Detmer said. He hopes it serves as a resource for hospitals and bolsters further research within the music therapy field. "It's high profile," he said. "I get an email or phone call a week asking about it because health- care providers are looking for evidence-based ways to help these infants." The researchers part- nered with a neonatologist and speech-language pathologist from Norton Women's and Children's hospital, and received help from Uof L music ther- apy interns. The team received the Kentucky Hospital Association's 2017 "Quality Award" for their work. Detmer said the Uof L program is currently seeking funding for the first full-time music therapy position at Uof L Medical Center to work with this population and the many other patients in need. An infant receives music therapy. A s drug abuse escalates and agencies work to treat people wrestling with that and other behavioral health issues, some orga- nizations have turned to Uof L in a win-win student partnership. "The opioid crisis is affecting every part of our community," said Jennifer Hancock, president-CEO of Volun- teers of America Mid-States Inc. "It is absolutely a public health crisis and because of that, we feel particularly called to be on the front lines to respond." The Kent School of Social Work is helping, thanks to a new scholarship program to put more qualified clinicians in the field as VOA and Centerstone, a non-profit provider of behav- ioral health care, refine services in addiction recovery and other critical areas. An anonymous gift helped launch the pro- gram, which participants hope will grow. "It's a great partnership," said Kel- ley Gannon, Centerstone COO. "We are looking to nurture the students into good professionals." Starting this fall, three social work students at Centerstone and two at VOA received scholarships and their field placements to gain agency experience with the opportu- nity for employment there after their graduation and successful program completion. The program is open to seniors and to master's students. At Centerstone, students will work in a wide range of services to help chil- dren and adults, Gannon said. Because the VOA's partnership will emphasize addiction issues, Hancock said preference there will be given to Kent students in the alcohol and drug counseling specialization or in the couple and family therapy specialization. "Students in our specializa- tion, alcohol and drug counseling, are going to be well-suited for those positions because they are going to understand the way that addic- tion is rooted in the brain and also in the environment," said Martin Hall, co-director of that Kent specializa- tion. "They will have background in evidence-supported ways to help people get better — and the couple and family therapy (students) will as well." Kent students partner to help agencies fight opioids Hancock Detmer DeLoach

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