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    The opioid crisis: Prenatal and postnatal care

    Recent data support treating opioid use in pregnant patients with MAT

     

    Conclusion

    In July 2017 in response to the opioid crisis, Dr. Nora Volkow (NIDA Director) and Dr. Francis Collins (NIH Director) jointly published a special report in The New England Journal of Medicine outlining major strategic initiatives intended to focus research on new therapies for treatment of overdose along with new therapies that target the neurobiology of chronic pain and addiction.25 In summary, what one may take from this call to action is that all hands must be “on deck” as we move forward into the future. Public and private funding sources must partner and all clinicians, including ob/gyns, must embrace the consideration of new treatment options for OUD, even in pregnant and parenting women, as research becomes available. This includes the possibility of new formulations of existing medications, novel modulation of the brain-reward circuitry or vaccines for substances of abuse. As ob/gyns in 2018, our response to this crisis must be to understand the powerful effect of opiates, become good stewards of our prescribing privilege and understand the resources available in our communities for evaluation and treatment.

     

    Disclosures: The authors report no potential conflicts of interest with regard to this article.

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    Agatha S. Critchfield, MD
    Dr. Critchfield is Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington.
    Wendy F. Hansen, MD
    Dr. Hansen is Professor and John W. Greene, Jr., MD Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kentucky College of ...

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