The Opioid Partnership
The Opioid Partnership is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to expand support for mothers and babies who struggle with the immediate and long-term effects of opioid misuse and addiction.
The opioid epidemic impacts every segment of society in the U.S., including women and their babies. The number of pregnant women with opioid use disorder at the time of delivery quadrupled from 1999 to 2014.
Opioid use during pregnancy can result in a drug withdrawal syndrome in newborns called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). An estimated 32,000 babies were born with NAS in 2014. One baby is born with signs of NAS every 15 minutes in the U.S., this equates to nearly 100 babies a day.
The consequences of prenatal opioid exposure can be far-reaching. In addition to the immediate withdrawal symptoms, babies born with NAS can face cognitive, psychological, behavioral, motor and visual problems, as well as sleep disturbances. The societal implications of widespread chronic prenatal opioid exposure have yet to be determined.
More needs to be done to assist pregnant women and their babies at risk of and struggling with opioid use and exposure. Some of the most immediate barriers to effecting positive change include gaps in research, the need for greater sharing of success and lessons learned, and inadequate resources and referrals.
The Opioid Partnership is working to support efforts to prevent and reduce the impact of opioid abuse and exposure on mothers and babies, by identifying promising, innovative solutions, facilitating information sharing, and advocating for increased funding and support.
- Identification and support for effective prevention and treatment strategies and policies;
- Generation and use of data to identify individuals that need support; improve understanding of short and long-term outcomes of prenatal opioid abuse; and identify interventions that have a positive impact
- Resources for the education and training of care providers and community resources to support optimal engagement with affected mothers, as well as appropriate referrals, linking affected families with medical and social services
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