CDC Reports Shows the Extent the Opioid Epidemic Impacts Mothers and Their Babies

There has been a great deal written about the opioid drug crisis in the United States. But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sheds light on the extent of the problem for women, particularly for mothers.

The new study shows that the number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. Researchers found that the national prevalence rate of opioid use disorder increased from 1.5 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 1999 to 6.5 in 2014.

Opioid use during pregnancy has been associated with a wide range of negative health outcomes for both mothers and their babies. Pregnant women with opioid use disorder are more likely than other women to die during childbirth. Babies whose mothers used opioids when they were pregnant are more likely to be stillborn, premature, or suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome, where newborn babies experience withdrawal after being exposed to drugs in the womb.

Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated that “these findings illustrate the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on families across the U.S., including on the very youngest. Untreated opioid use disorder during pregnancy can lead to heartbreaking results. Each case represents a mother, a child, and a family in need of continued treatment and support.”

Filed Under: Research/Study

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