The health of this generation and the next begins with ensuring that pregnant women and their newborns get appropriate health care. According to SAMHSA’s latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) has more than doubled and the number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has grown fivefold. Reducing these numbers means getting pregnant women with OUD the health care they need to reduce the chance of prenatal opioid exposure and NAS.Congress passed the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (POIA) to respond to the unmet needs of pregnant women and their newborns.
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Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailed several new actions that we are taking to address the country’s opioid crisis. One of these actions was Yesing the final rule to increase the patient limit for practitioners prescribing buprenorphine. This rule aims to improve access to buprenorphine, which is prescribed along with behavioral health services as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
There are more than 700,000 opioid-related hospitalizations every year. It is important that people with opioid-related hospitalizations receive care that will promote recovery and reduce the risk of opioid misuse, readmission to the hospital, or death.To find out more about the care patients received after an opioid-related hospitalization, researchers at SAMHSA and Truven Health Analytics studied which medications were filled by privately insured patients in the 30 days following their hospital stay. Hospitalization events were studied partly because they represent an opportune moment to connect a patient with a safety net and substance use treatment system that saves lives.
The opioid problem won’t wait. Seventy-eight people die every day in the United States from an opioid overdose. Nearly 2.2 million Americans struggle every day with an addiction to opioid pain medications or illegal opioids like heroin. Opioid addiction, also called opioid use disorder, is a complex disease associated with chronic drug use, high-risk behavior, and a host of other medical and behavioral complications.