Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant and Postpartum People: The Treatment and Policy Landscape


Target Audience:

This activity is designed for inter-professional teams, families and patients, students and educators, nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.


Opioid use disorder (OUD) can be a fatal addiction with complex implications for new and/or expecting mothers. OUD challenges can lead to many complications for mother and child, including low birth weight, clinical challenges with medical dosing and increased risk of accidental death. In the U.S. alone, a baby is born passively dependent every 15 minutes. To ensure best health outcomes for both mother and child, policies must allow engagement in evidence-based treatment and protect clients from legal ramifications. Hear from a physician, clinic director and an individual with lived experience to broaden understandings about the treatment and policy landscape for pregnant and postpartum women with OUD.

Educational objectives:

  • Review the current landscape of opioid use disorder treatment for pregnant and postpartum women in the U.S.
  • Describe the neurobiology of opioid use disorder among pregnant and postpartum women
  • Examine legal challenges related to pregnant women and mothers with substance use disorders
  • Discuss recent policy changes that impact how opioid use disorder treatment is provided