Opiate use rising among expectant mothers in Washington State

February 25, 2016

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) recently released a brief examining maternal and newborn inpatient rates in which drugs or alcohol were a factor. Between 1990 and 2014, the rate of maternal hospital stays that included a diagnosis of substance abuse increased threefold, and the rate of newborn hospital stays that stemmed from maternal substance abuse increased fourfold, according to the report. Most of this increase is due to increased opiate use.

Between 1990 and 2006, opiate-related diagnoses triples. Then, between 2006 and 2014, opiate-related diagnoses tripled again. Some of that increase may be attributable to mothers in treatment for pain, or in recovery from addiction with either methadone or buprenorphine therapies.

Areas with higher than expected opiate-related diagnoses include a large portion of the Olympic Peninsula, the greater Everett and Tacoma areas and the state’s northeast corner (Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, and the northern part of Spokane County). Click here to read the full brief. (Tim Pfarr)


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