The decade from 2000 to 2009 saw a rise both in the number of women who used opioids during pregnancy and in the number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Dependence on opioids during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes for infants and mothers, including placental abruption, preterm labor, maternal obstetric complications, and fetal death.
This issue of The CBHSQ Report includes data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) to examine opioid misuse and treatment among women of childbearing age.
The three surveys are used to present a multi-faceted picture of the opioid epidemic in women of child-bearing age, including data on past month usage among both non-pregnant and pregnant women by socioeconomic level and trimester. Women who get treatment are reviewed according to insurance status and whether or not they receive medical assistance for withdrawal. Finally, treatment services are analyzed by type of facility and program, and by whether or not they accept Medicaid payments and provide child care services.
The findings of the three surveys suggest that outreach and educational resources targeting younger pregnant women and women living below the federal poverty level about the dangers of misusing prescription pain relievers may be especially beneficial. The health insurance gap among pregnant treatment admissions suggests that these women may need assistance in navigating the health insurance and health service opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act to ensure critical access to the health care system.
This course is based upon material published by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is available as an open access article.
This course on opioid abuse among women of childbearing age is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of the issues facing young women who are addicted to opioids. The course material includes a review of three national surveys. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.
Authors: Kelley Smith, Ph.D., MSW, and Rachel Lipari, Ph.D.
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding women of childbearing age and opioids. Specifically, a professional will:
- Describe data on average past month opioid usage from NSDUH
- Identify insurance considerations for pregnant women seeking treatment for opioid abuse
- Recognize types of facilities and programs available to pregnant women who use opioids
Citation: Smith, K. and Lipari, R.N. Women of Childbearing Age and Opioids. The CBHSQ Report: January 17, 2017. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health services Administration, Rockville, MD.
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