Over the past two decades, the United States has experienced a public health crisis related to substance use disorders (SUDs). This crisis is pronounced with regard to opioid use disorders (OUDs), to which women are particularly vulnerable. Between 1999 and 2016, the rate of deaths from prescription opioid overdoses increased 507% among women, compared with an increase of 321% among men. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019). Also, between 1999 and 2014, the national prevalence of OUDs among pregnant women increased 333%. This increase among women who are pregnant can have far-reaching impacts on quality of life and healthcare costs for mothers and their infants. And maternal SUDs can cause several birth-related complications that can increase hospital costs and length of stay. However, expanded insurance coverage and increased interaction with healthcare professionals during pregnancy provide an opportunity to link pregnant women experiencing SUDs to treatment services in order to reduce the impacts of SUDs on mother, child, and health care spending.
Integrating SUD and OB/GYN care
Policy challenges and opportunities, issue brief
Seibert, J. H., Stockdale, H. S., Feinberg, R. K., Dobbins, E. E., Theis, E. N., Murray, M. J., Hinde, J. M., & Karon, S. L. (2019). Integrating SUD and OB/GYN care: Policy challenges and opportunities, issue brief. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.