The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is issuing two reports on the best approaches for optimizing outcomes for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders and their infants. Both reports are aimed at helping these woman gain greater access to effective treatment and other important services.
One report, entitled Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance, summarizes the evidence review and rating processes SAMHSA used to establish appropriate interventions for the treatment of pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder and their infants.
The report provides an approach for meeting this public health need by establishing the foundation for the development of a clinical guide enabling more health care providers to offer specialized treatment to women with opioid use disorder and their opioid-exposed infants. A federal steering committee consisting of 14 federal agencies oversaw the process and an expert panel of clinicians and researchers rated the appropriateness of clinical treatments, which varied by the woman’s or infant’s medical history and current situation.
SAMHSA is seeking public comment on the clinical translation of this report in order to assure that it is of maximum utility. The report will be published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2016 (accessible starting on the date of publication at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2016-18324). Comments will be accepted until September 3, 2016.
SAMHSA, with the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, will also release A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorders: Practice and Policy Considerations for Child Welfare and Collaborating Service Providers, is a guide aimed at promoting collaborative efforts among agencies and providers serving pregnant and post-partum women with opioid dependence and their infants. It presents a coordinated, multi-systemic approach grounded in early identification and intervention to assist child welfare, medical, substance use treatment and other systems to develop approaches to support families. The publication provides:
- An overview of the extent of opioid use by pregnant women and the effects on the infant
- Evidence-based recommendations for treatment approaches
- An in-depth case study
- A guide for collaborative planning
- Tools to conduct a needs and gap analysis and to develop a collaborative action plan
Both of these efforts were recently mentioned by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell as part of the Department’s overall initiative to address the many the public health problems posed by the opioid disorder crisis. HHS has consistently emphasized the importance of increasing access to medication-assisted treatment for all populations in need.