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SAMHSA releases guides to help women navigate opioid use disorder treatment while pregnant

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is releasing four Healthy Pregnancy: Opioids in Pregnancy fact sheets that offer treatment guidance for women who have opioid use disorders and who also are pregnant and/or are mothers of infants.

Statistics show that the number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) at the time of delivery quadrupled from 1.5 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 1999 to 6.5 per 1,000 in 2014.[1]  Babies exposed to opioids and other substances before birth may develop neonatal abstinence syndrome (a group of withdrawal signs) after birth.

The Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby: Opioids in Pregnancy fact sheets explain the processes for treating opioid use disorder and neonatal abstinence syndrome. They give women the information they need to seek care and to successfully manage both pregnancy and opioid use disorder treatment. The four fact sheets are titled

  • Opioid Use Disorder and Pregnancy,
  • Treating Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy,
  • Treating Babies Who Were Exposed to Opioids Before Birth and
  • Good Care for You and Your Baby While Receiving Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

As the fact sheets explain, treatment under the care of a medical professional is the best way to stop misusing opioids. “We want pregnant women with opioid use disorder to understand that safe treatment options are available,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “The most important thing is to enter treatment as soon as possible so they can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.”

People who need to explore treatment options should visit SAMHSA’s Treatment Locator at or should call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The fact sheets should be distributed to women who may be pregnant and have opioid use disorder. They are available at


[1] Haight SC, Ko JY, Tong VT, Bohm MK, Callaghan WM. Opioid Use Disorder Documented at Delivery Hospitalization — United States, 1999–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:845–849. DOI:


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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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