Treatment for opioid use disorder is a process that should be carefully managed by a patient and their health care team. This is especially true for women who are pregnant or have newborn children. Fortunately, medication-assisted treatment can be provided during pregnancy and after childbirth and this is often the safest treatment with the best outcome for baby and mother. To assist patients and care provides with learning about options and planning the treatment that is best for other and baby, SAMHSA has published Healthy Pregnancy Healthy Baby fact sheets.
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One hundred fifteen Americans die every day from opioid overdose. Whether a person deliberately misuses a prescription opioid or uses an illicit drug such as heroin, these deaths are all preventable. It’s up to us—emergency medical personnel, healthcare professionals, and community members who witness and respond to overdoses—to learn what we can do to prevent opioid misuse.
Since 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued more than $1 billion in grants to support access to opioid-related treatment, prevention and recovery. We have also published resources to support prevention and treatment providers.
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.
Opioid use disorder is one of the most serious public health challenges facing our nation, affecting nearly 2.4 million Americans in 2015. Unfortunately, many who need treatment are not receiving it.
In the United States, the profile of opioid misuse and opioid use disorder is changing. Nonmedical use of prescription opioids has become as significant a problem as heroin use. In 2013, approximately 4.5 million people reported nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers in the past month and 289,000 reported use of heroin in the past month. Despite the enormity of the problem, the vast majority of people with an opioid use disorder do not receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) because of limited treatment capacity, financial obstacles, social bias, and other barriers to care.