New guidelines address rise in opioid use during pregnancy

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Pregnancy (Photo: Pexels)

(AP) — The American Academy of Pediatrics says pregnant women with opioid addiction should have access to medication in new guidelines released Monday aimed at improving care for women and newborns affected by drug use.

Two opioids, buprenorphine and methadone, are effective treatments but pregnant women often face stigma in using them and doctors who prescribe them are scarce.

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The number of affected women and infants has increased in recent years but they often don’t get effective treatment.

Last year, 7% of U.S. women reported they had used prescription opioids during pregnancy. Nearly 80 infants are diagnosed daily with withdrawal symptoms.