Beyond the Treatment Box: Perspectives on the Federal Response to Opioid Use, Pregnancy, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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Abstract

There has been much activity within Federal agencies in response to the opioid epidemic particularly in regards to pregnant women and their infants. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's recently released document, Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance, provides an important and timely guidance. Uptake of the guide should improve quality of care and hopefully help lessen the discrimination experienced by pregnant women with opioid use disorder. However, most pregnant women with addiction do not have access to treatment. This unmet need is large and vexing and only tangentially addressed in the Guide. Future Federal efforts should focus beyond the “treatment box.”

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