Opioid use among pregnant women during labor and delivery has skyrocketed in the past two decades, more than quadrupling between 1999 and 2014, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control
In addition to the obvious social, mental, and physical problems, as well as the risks of drug overdose, opioid exposure can have all sorts of devastating impacts for mothers and their babies, including preterm labor, stillbirth, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and maternal mortality.
“These findings illustrate the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on families across the U.S., including on the very youngest,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield told CBS News.
In its study, CDC researchers analyzed a national database and used data about pregnant women from 28 states. The lowest increase rates were found in California and Hawaii, while the highest were in Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Childhood opioid overdoses have also almost doubled in the past decade.
As the opioid crisis continues to rage, President Trump has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bring a federal lawsuit against manufacturers of the addictive prescription painkillers earlier this month. Many states also have lawsuits pending against opioid manufacturers, including Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma.
Opioid addiction continues to impact the U.S. population at epidemic levels, and at a major cost to individuals and families as well as public health officials and even the labor force.