The COVID-19 pandemic may be making it harder for pregnant women to receive treatment for opioid addiction, according to the author of a new report on opioid use in pregnancy.
“Getting into treatment may be getting even harder” because of the pandemic, Dr. Stephen Patrick told CBS News. “There’s so much going on in the world that issues involving opioid use are flying under the radar,” he said.
Patrick is lead author of a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics that provides recommendations for improving care for infants with opioid exposure. According to the report, rates of opioid use disorder have been rising among pregnant women, as have rates of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome among infants.
The report recommends that pregnant women have access to medication to treat opioid misuse. The academy calls on hospitals to have written protocols for assessing and treating newborns affected by opioids. “This is a substantial public health problem that is still lacking solutions,” Patrick said.