A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorders

Posted 6/30/2021 (updated 9/2/2021)

This guidance publication is intended to support the efforts of states, tribes, and local communities in addressing the needs of pregnant women with opioid use disorders and their infants and families. National data show that from 2000 to 2009 the use of opioids during pregnancy increased from 1.19 to 5.63 per 1,000 hospital births (Patrick, Schumacher, Benneyworth, Krans, McAllister, & Davis, 2012). Because of the high rate of opioid use and misuse among all women, including pregnant women, medical, social service, and judicial agencies are having to confront this concern more often and, in some communities, at alarming rates.

This guidance document provides background information on the treatment of pregnant women with opioid use disorders, summarizes key aspects of guidelines that have been adopted by professional organizations across many of the disciplines, presents a comprehensive framework to organize these efforts in communities, and provides a collaborative practice guide for community planning to improve outcomes for these families. A set of appendices provides details on implementing the recommendations in the guide as well as a summary of lessons from one community’s experience over the past decade.