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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS Local) – A new report from the CDC reveals a troubling surge in opioid use among pregnant women. Researchers found that addiction among soon-to-be mothers is four times higher than it was 15 years ago.
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that the number women diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD) around the time they went into labor quadrupled from 1999 to 2014. “Opioid use by pregnant women represents a significant public health concern given the association of opioid exposure and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes, including preterm labor, stillbirth, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and maternal mortality,” the Aug. 10 report explained.
OUD increased from 1.5 cases for every 1,000 pregnant patients in 1999 to 6.5 for every 1,000 in 2014.
“These findings illustrate the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on families across the U.S., including on the very youngest,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., said in a statement, via CBS News. The disturbing trend reflects the growing number of Americans being affected by the opioid epidemic. Opioids, which include , , and , reportedly killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, the most of any year recorded by the CDC.
Researchers found the biggest spikes in opioid addiction among pregnant women in Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, and West Virginia. The lowest increases were found in California and Hawaii.