Opioid Crisis is Killing Texas Mothers

pregnant woman standing by a window

Opioid Crisis is Killing Texas Mothers

Prescription opioid use during pregnancy is high, despite evidence of adverse effects on fetal development.

According to a recent report from KUT, Austin’s local National Public Radio station, the maternal death rate in Texas is very high and drug overdose is the leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in the state.1 Other major causes of maternal deaths in Texas include cardiac events and hypertension/eclampsia.2

A 2016 report from the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force found that the majority of the maternal overdose deaths involved licit or illicit prescription opioids.2 The same report also found that the majority of the maternal deaths occurred more than 42 days after delivery, suggesting that more focus may need to be placed in maternity and postpartum care.

Prescription drug deaths are rising in Texas and all across the United States and have been identified as a major public health crisis. To combat the drug overdose crisis for mothers, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force has recommended an opioid prevention and treatment program for pregnant women.

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    Opioid Use During and After Pregnancy

    According to a 2015 study published by the Journal of Pediatric Genetics, prescription opioid use during pregnancy is high, despite evidence of adverse effects on fetal development.2,3

    Whether for medical purposes or opioid dependency, 21.6 percent of Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women from 47 different states filled at least one opioid prescription during their pregnancy. In addition, among pregnant women enrolled in commercial health plans across the U.S., 14.4 percent of them filled an opioid prescription between 2005 and 2011.3

    Some of the most commonly filled prescription opioids included:3

    • Codeine
    • Hydrocodone
    • Oxycodone
    • Propoxyphene

    All of these prescription opioids are narcotic drugs that are typically prescribed to relieve pain, and each of them is potentially a highly addictive substance.

    Women who use prescription opioids during pregnancy may also be at risk for developing addiction and dependence postpartum, which can have devastating effects on new mothers and babies alike.5

    What to Do If You or a Loved One Is Struggling with Opioid Addiction

    If you or a loved one is suffering from opioid dependence and addiction, you are not alone. Many pregnant women, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and people from all walks of life struggle with the disease of addiction. There is no shame in seeking help.

    Codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and/or propoxyphene detox programs are all common and can be very effective in helping addicted individuals overcome their physical dependence before beginning a long-term addiction treatment program.

    Overcoming an addiction to prescription opioids is possible and medically assisted opioid drug detox is the safest and most comfortable way to do it. Although Briarwood Detox Center is not equipped to provide medically assisted drug and alcohol detox services to women who are currently pregnant, we can provide assistance to women who have recently given birth as well as men and women of various ages and circumstances.

    Whether you need oxycodone detox, propoxyphene detox, or some other type of detox program, call today to find out if our medically assisted detox center and programs are right for you. Please call (888) 857-0557 to speak to an admissions specialist today.


    1. http://kut.org/post/opioid-crisis-killing-texas-mothers-task-force-finds
    2. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/mch/maternal_mortality_and_morbidity.shtm
    3. http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(10)02524-X/fulltext
    4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795985/
    5. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2017/05/17/opioid-misuse-in-pregnant-and-postpartum-women-is-on-the-rise

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