CDC: Opioid use disorder rate quadruples among pregnant women
The number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder at labor and delivery more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, according to data recently published in MMWR.
CDC researchers analyzed data within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample. They found that for every 1,000 delivery hospitalizations:
- Opioid use disorder prevalence nationwide was 1.5 in 1999 and 6.5 in 2014.
- Opioid use disorder prevalence increases among states with data from at least 3 years from 1999 to 2014 were highest in Vermont (5.37 per year), Maine (4.13 per year), West Virginia (2.83 per year) and New Mexico (2.47 per year).
- Opioid use disorder prevalence among states with data from at least 3 years between 1999 and 2014 were lowest in Hawaii (0.09 per year) and California (0.01 per year).
“These findings illustrate the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on families across the U.S., including on the very youngest,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, said in a press release. “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.”
Researchers led by Sarah C. Haight, MPH, of the CDC’s division of reproductive health and National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, suggested state-level programs and policies that reduce illegal and legal opioid use are “critical to curbing the opioid epidemic.”
To that end, in September 2017, the CDC announced it was awarding $28.6 million to 44 states and Washington, D.C., to increase access to opioid prevention, treatment and recovery services, including medication-assisted treatments; improve availability and distribution of overdose-reversal medications as well as public health data and reporting; provide support for new pain and addiction research; and advance better practices for pain management. The September announcement was on top of $12 million the CDC awarded for similar efforts a few months earlier.
While the success of those programs was unclear at the time of this story’s posting, the CDC suggested clinicians who have patients who are pregnant and have opioid use disorder be prescribed opioids consistent with the 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain; take full advantage of and increase use of prescription drug monitoring programs; and that physicians should conduct universal substance use screening at a patient’s first prenatal visit; and ensure these women have access to addiction services, such as medication-assisted therapy, and patient-centered postpartum care, such as family planning services, relapse-prevention programs and mental health and substance use treatment. – by Janel Miller
Disclosure: Redfield is director of the CDC. The other authors report no relevant financial disclosures.