Pregnant women’s use of opioids is on the rise | Science News


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Pregnant women’s use of opioids is on the rise

Early screening could prevent pregnancy complications and health problems for babies

4:00pm, August 9, 2018
a photo of a pregnant stomach with some pills

PREGNANCY AND PILLS Pregnant women haven’t escaped the opioid crisis, the CDC reports. In 28 U.S. states, the rate of women using opioids such as oxycodone, shown in the background of this composite image, close to childbirth has risen sharply since 1999.

Pregnant women aren’t immune to the escalating opioid epidemic.

Data on hospital deliveries in 28 U.S. states shows the rate of opioid use among pregnant women has quadrupled, from 1.5 per 1,000 women in 1999 to 6.5 per 1,000 women in 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

The highest increases in opioid use among pregnant women were in Maine, New Mexico, Vermont and West Virginia, according to the CDC study, published online August 9 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“This analysis is a stark reminder that the U.S. opioid crisis is taking a tremendous toll on families,” says coauthor Jean Ko, a CDC epidemiologist in Atlanta.

In this first look at opioid use during pregnancy by state, Washington, D.C. had the lowest rate in 2014, at 0.7 per 1,000 women, and Vermont had the highest, at 48.6 per 1,000. However, the

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