Experiences from conception to age six have the most important influence of any time in the life


MMT MOMS Study - Supporting Mother's Engagement in Community-Based methadone Treatment

Project Summary

Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is held as the gold standard in helping individuals overcome addictions to opiates. Due to the crucially important role of mothers in raising the next generation of healthy contributing citizens (i.e. their children), the familial and societal benefits of helping mothers overcome addictions are huge. However, mothers face greater barriers to remaining engaged in MMT than other groups, due for example, to challenges accessing safe and reliable child care and transportation. Very little is known about how to help mothers overcome barriers to engagement in MMT or how MMT may influence mothers’ parenting capacity.

Most research fails to address MMT and whether links exist between parenting responsibilities and treatment-seeking behaviour of drug-dependent mothers. Moreover, none of the identified studies explicitly considers women’s perspectives. The proposed study will seek to address these gaps through use of a gendered perspective that focuses on the mother-child unit to develop greater knowledge and understanding of how to engage mothers in MMT. This research stands to contribute directly to the care of mothers accessing MMT in NB.

Goals and Objectives

The purpose of this study is to examine mothers’ and service providers’ perspectives on the characteristics (e.g. type, format, and function) of parenting supports and resources that could facilitate mothers’ engagement in MMT. A secondary purpose is to determine the influence of MMT on mothers’ parenting. In close partnership with our community research team, study findings will inform the development and testing of a support intervention for mothers to be tested in a subsequent randomized controlled trial.

Not only will this study contribute to the research knowledge base on women with addictions, but it will directly affect service delivery for mothers in MMT in NB. As such, this research stands to place New Brunswickers at the forefront of research on mothers with addictions.

Team Members

Academic Researchers


Principal Investigator(s):

Nicole Letourneau, PhD RN
Professor, Faculty of Nursing
University of Calgary 

Loretta Secco, PhD RN
Associate Professor
Faculty of Nursing, UNB
PO Box 4400, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3

Co-principal Investigator(s):

Kelly Evans, M Ed
Regional Manager, Addiction Services and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
Saint John Zone, Regional Health Authority B
416 Bay Street, Saint John, NB E2M 7L4

Gerry Munn MA Ed, RSW**
Program Coordinator, Ridgewood Community Services Division
Regiona Health Authority B, Zone 2, Saint John

Marjorie Mullin, BA**
Program Coordinator, Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program
Addicition Services and Chronic Disease
Regional Health Authority B, Zone 2, Saint John

**Ridgewood Addiction Services
PO Box 3566, Station B
Saint John West, South Bay, NB E2M 4Y1

Investigator(s): Mary Ann Campbell, PhD, LPsych, RPsych
Assistant Professor & Director of teh Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
Department of Psychology, UNB-SJ
Tucker Park, PO Box 5050
Saint John, NB E2L 4L5

Jean Hughes, PhD RN
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Dalhousie University
5869 University Avenue
Halifax, NS B3H 3J5


Progress to Date

All interviews with Moms and Service Providers have been completed and are currently being coded. We anticipate the coding to continue into the new year. Once the interviews have all been coded a summary report will be created and then validated to make sure we are capturing what the Mom's and Service Providers have told us. We anticipate this to take place late fall/or early in 2012. For more information or to receive updates on this project, please contact Jenn Colpitts at Jennifer.Colpitts@unb.ca


Letourneau, N., Campbell, M., Woodland, J., Colpitts, J. (submitted). Supporting mothers’ engagement in a community-based methadone treatment program: A qualitative analysis of clients and service providers. Nursing Research and Practice