The occurrence of opioid use during pregnancy and postpartum has escalated in recent years due to inconsistent early identification and intervention procedures. With cases of perinatal substance use disorder (SUD) on the rise, a lack of consistent identification and follow-up has left many women undiagnosed and without treatment. According to data released by the CDC in 2020, 7% of women reported abuse of prescription opioid pain relievers during pregnancy, while 14-22% of women report filling a prescription for opioids during the perinatal period. Opioid use in perinatal women can lead to poor health outcomes for both mother and baby, including poor fetal growth, preterm birth, and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
These numbers emphasize the need for improved screening and further access to treatment for perinatal substance use disorders. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) perinatal behavioral health program, Kansas Connecting Communities (KCC), has outlined best practice recommendations for screening and effectively intervening when perinatal substance use is identified. This presentation aims to provide information about the long-term effects of substance use on perinatal women and their families and increase awareness of screening and intervention best practices.
Participants will leave this session with the knowledge and tools they need to establish an organization-wide screening policy for substance use during the perinatal period, including the screening tool(s) to be used, the frequency in which screenings should occur, and response protocol for positive screens and crisis intervention. In addition, resources will be discussed in the context of the Kansas behavioral health landscape, including guidelines for reducing barriers to care – such as coordination of treatment, navigating reimbursement, and telehealth services.