Opioid use disorder rising among pregnant women

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that for every 1000 deliveries in 2014, 7.6 new mothers were diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder.

That’s an increase from 1999 when, out of 1000 thousand new mothers, about 0.3 were diagnosed with the disorder.

The report noted that improved screening and diagnosing techniques may have influenced the increase.

Nationally, the CDC found that Opioid Use Disorder among pregnant women has more than quadrupled during the same time period.

“Pregnancy and drug use surprisingly occurs at the same time. The age of our women who are using opioids and becoming pregnant is 26 years of age, and that is the average age for women to have babies,” said Dr. Charles Shauberger, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist with Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

Local doctors at Gundersen who work with pregnant women with Opioid Use Disorder will be presenting their findings to the Opioid Task Force on Thursday.