© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CDC: Rate Of Opioid Addiction In Pregnancy Soars

Teresa Crawford

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the number of pregnant women addicted to opioids quadrupled between 1999 and 2014.

Nationwide, 6.5 out of 1,000 pregnant women were addicted in 2014. In New York, it was 4.9.

Dr. David Garry, director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine on Long Island, runs the Maternal Opioid Management Support program or MOMS.

“From my perspective, it is a large problem. The number of women that we take care of, so far over the last two years, is probably 120 to 150 women.”

Garry says MOMS provides prenatal care and opioid management to the mother, and then treatment for the baby in a way that doesn’t stigmatize the mother or child.

“You have to understand that women who are in Opioid Abuse Disorder aren’t necessarily thinking correctly, meaning that the way the chemicals in their brain have changed them, that their thoughts are not completely, we’ll say, normal. And they change some of their behavior in order to satisfy the craving or the fear of withdrawal.”

Twenty-three states provided statistics to the study. Connecticut was not one of them.

Vermont had the highest rate in the country, with one out of every 20 pregnant women addicted to opioids.

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning audio journalist. As part of his duties as Senior Director of News and Education, he developed a unique and award-winning internship program with the Stony Brook University School of Communications and Journalism, where he is also a lecturer and adjunct professor. He also mentors graduate fellows from the Sacred Heart University Graduate School of Communication, Media, and the Arts.