Coordinating Better Care for Opioid-Addicted Women and Their Children

SAMHSA and HHS release publications that promote best practices and policies for treating opioid addicted women and their children.


Caring for a woman who is addicted to opioids—and who is a mother or about to be—can be challenging. But child welfare systems are reporting heavier caseloads, primarily among infants and young children. Moreover, hospitals are reporting increasing numbers of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

As part of HHS’s overall initiative to address the many public health problems posed by the opioid disorder crisis, SAMHSA, with the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, is releasing A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorders.

The guide is aimed at promoting a coordinated multisystemic approach among agencies and providers, including child welfare, medical, and substance abuse treatment, grounded in early identification and interventions to support families.


The publication covers the extent of opioid use by pregnant women and its effects on their fetus. It offers evidence-based recommendations for treatment approaches, along with recommendations for collaborative planning and tools to conduct a needs-and-gap analysis to develop a collaborative action plan.

SAMHSA also publishes Advancing the Care of Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and their Infants: A Foundation for Clinical Guidance . This report summarizes the evidence review and rating processes SAMHSA used to establish appropriate interventions.

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