The data also show that, parallel to the overall increase, there has been a notable increase in overdose deaths among Black women during pregnancy or postpartum. maternal mortality rate Wilson Compton, co-author of the study and deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is among this demographic.
Experts say the increase in overdose deaths in this group from 2018 to 2012 is due to a number of external factors, including social isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic and a lack of adequate prenatal and postnatal care in the United States. It is said that this may be caused by.
The majority of pregnancy-related overdose deaths involved opioids, especially fentanyl. Researchers found that most of these deaths occurred outside of health care facilities, suggesting a need for better support during and after pregnancy for people with substance use disorders. It is said that there are. That includes educating people about treatment options and finding ways to encourage pregnant people to seek treatment without fear of legal action.
“For many pregnant and postpartum people, disclosing drug use could result in their child being taken away, so there’s a lot of stigma beyond the standard stigma,” said Chelsea Shober, an epidemiologist and assistant professor. “I will.” Stayed at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
numerous laws exacerbate women’s concerns about to be punished. Some states require automatic child abuse and neglect reporting for incidents involving newborns exposed to certain substances, including opioids.
“We have to create an environment where people struggling with substance use can come forward and get the resources they need,” Shober said. “But when people don’t know there are treatments available for opioid use disorder or they can’t access them; [then] That becomes a problem. ”
Current treatments for opioid use disorder Both during and during pregnancy postpartum period This includes methadone or buprenorphine in combination with behavioral therapy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
July Analysis by medical policy organization KFF They found that drug overdose deaths, primarily related to fentanyl, spiked during the pandemic. The report also noted that despite policy efforts aimed at improving access to treatment for opioid use disorder, many people are not receiving recommended medications.
For pregnant and postpartum people, the stigma against drug use, combined with being pregnant and under the influence of opioids, can make getting help even less likely.
“I think our country and our people in general have suffered from the fact that drug use is a medical condition. People still think of it as a moral condition…It’s not necessarily a woman’s choice. “No,” said Jessica L. Coker, associate professor of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Research on suicide and substance use disorders in pregnant and postpartum women.
In 2022, Ministry of Health and Welfare Women’s Health Office We’ve donated more than $3.6 million to seven organizations dedicated to helping individuals grapple with substance use disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
“Women who use drugs are some of the sickest patients I’ve ever worked with…and it’s not a moral failing that causes them to use drugs,” Coker said. said. “I’ve never met a pregnant person who didn’t want to be a good mother and do the right thing.”