Data and Statistics About Opioid Use During Pregnancy

Timely data help drive public health action for optimal care of pregnant women and children with prenatal exposure to opioids.

Opioid Use

During pregnancy

According to 2019 self-reported data, about 7% of women reported using prescription opioid pain relievers during pregnancy. Of those, 1 in 5 reported misuse of prescription opioids, defined by this survey as getting them from a non-healthcare source or using them for a reason other than to relieve pain. [Read article]

Opioid-related diagnoses at delivery

The number of women with opioid-related diagnoses documented at delivery increased by 131% from 2010 to 2017. [Read articleexternal icon]

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

According to 2017 data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Projectexternal icon (HCUP), which is managed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, seven newborns were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) for every 1,000 newborn hospital stays. That is approximately one baby diagnosed with NAS every 19 minutes in the United States, or nearly 80 newborns diagnosed every day.

The number of babies born with NAS increased by 82% nationally from 2010 to 2017. Increases were seen for nearly all states and demographic groups. [Read articleexternal icon]

Costs of NAS

Care of babies diagnosed with NAS can be costly to the healthcare system.  [Read articleexternal icon]

According to 2017 HCUP dataexternal icon,

  • The cost of a hospital stay for a newborn with NAS was $8,200 in 2017, compared with $1,000 for other newborn hospital stays—more than 8 times the increase in cost.
  • The average length of stay for a newborn with NAS was 11 days in 2017, compared with 2 days for other newborn hospital stays—a nearly 6-times increase in length of stay.
Neonatal abstinence syndrome by state

According to 2017 HCUP dataexternal icon, the occurrence of NAS ranged from a low of one newborn diagnosed with NAS per 1,000 newborn hospital stays (District of Columbia) to a high of 56 newborns diagnosed with NAS per 1,000 newborn hospital stays (West Virginia). To learn more, use this interactive map of NASexternal icon to search by state.

Page last reviewed: July 16, 2021