New Report Highlights the Increase in Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant Women


New Report Highlights the Increase in Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant Women

August 20, 2018
A hand with a lot of pills in the palm

As the opioid epidemic has swept across the nation, the media has increased its attention on the number of individuals addicted to, overdosing on, and dying from opioids. A recent report from the CDC reveals another concerning statistic: the prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) among pregnant women is on the rise.

Specifically, the CDC report finds that the prevalence of OUD among women who have given birth at U.S. hospitals quadrupled in the 15 years from 1999 to 2014. At the same time, the number of infants being born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome quadrupled between 1999 and 2013.

The CDC has reported that opioid use disorder (OUD) has risen more than 4 times among pregnant women and 4 times as many infants were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in 2014 than in 1999.

Image Source: CDC, see the full graphic here.

The rising prevalence of mothers with OUD highlights the dire need for more effective policies and programs to help reduce maternal opioid use and fetal opioid exposure in the U.S.

And it also raises the question of whether we are meeting the reproductive needs of women who are dealing with OUD. We recently highlighted some examples from states and communities that are working to do just that. If you missed it, check out our brief and blog to find out if your state is implementing initiatives to improve outcomes for women and their families. Now more than ever we need to be advocating for everyone affected by this crisis.

You can see the full CDC infographic The US Opioid Crisis: Addressing Maternal and Infant Health here and read the full CDC report Morbidity and Opioid Use Disorder Documented at Delivery Hospitalization — United States, 1999–2014 here.