We know a lot about treating pregnant opioid users and we’re still losing ground

January 23rd, 2014

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that in 2011-2012, approximately 5.9% of pregnant women reported using an illicit drug in the past 30 days, up from 3.7% in 2001.  While marijuana use accounts for a large proportion of those women, opioid use claims its share as well.

Many indicators show that drug use during pregnancy is trending upward.  According to the most recent Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the percentage of pregnant treatment admissions reporting drug abuse but not alcohol abuse increased from 51.1% in 2000 to 63.8% in 2010. Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that every hour an infant is born with symptoms of opioid withdrawal.  This is more than triple the rate reported in 2001.

The June 2013 draft update to the Federal Guidelines for Opioid Treatment and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee Opinion for treating pregnant women using opioids in a hazardous or risky way strongly support screening, access to treatment, and coordination of care to prevent and curb the impacts of opioid use during pregnancy. While some organizations have put forth policies recommending screening for all pregnant women during each trimester, those policies don’t exist everywhere nor are they always implemented in practice.

Read more here.

Posted in SBIRT

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