Data and Statistics About Opioid Use During Pregnancy

Timely data help drive public health action for optimal care of people who are pregnant 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 article]

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

According to 2020 data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), which is managed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, about six newborns were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) for every 1,000 newborn hospital stays. That is approximately one baby diagnosed with NAS every 24 minutes in the United States, or more than 59 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 article]

Costs of NAS

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

According to 2020 HCUP data,

  • After adjusting for inflation, the cost of a hospital stay for a newborn with NAS was $7,800 in 2020, compared with $1,100 for other newborn hospital stays—a nearly 7-time greater cost.
  • The average length of stay for a newborn with NAS was 9 days in 2020, compared with 2 days for other newborn hospital stays—a nearly 5-times increase in length of stay.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome by state

According to 2020 HCUP data, the occurrence of NAS ranged from a low of one newborn diagnosed with NAS per 1,000 newborn hospital stays (Hawaii) to a high of 43 newborns diagnosed with NAS per 1,000 newborn hospital stays (West Virginia). To learn more, use this interactive map of NAS to search by state.