Meth and opioid use has grown significantly among expectant mothers

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Meth and opioid use among expectant mothers has grown significantly in the U.S. over a decade, according to a new study. The use is associated with worse outcomes compared with other baby deliveries.

Dr. Lindsay Admon, an OB-GYN at Michigan Medicine Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital and the lead author of the study said, what was found is amphetamine and opioid use disorders are increasing among delivering women in the U.S. They are increasing disproportionately across rural as compared to urban areas, across most of the United States.

Researchers found that amphetamine- and opioid-related deliveries were both related to worse health outcomes, longer lengths of stay and higher delivery costs than other hospital deliveries.

Amphetamine-related deliveries were associated with higher rates of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, placental abruption and severe maternal morbidity and mortality than all other deliveries.

The adverse outcomes could be directly related to the drug use, as noted by the researchers, though other factors may also play a role. Substance use, for example, is associated with later prenatal care and fewer prenatal appointments. Access to treatment for pregnant women with addiction is often insufficient, especially in rural areas.

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