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

Women of reproductive age

About 1 in 3 women of reproductive age filled an opioid prescription each year between 2008 and 2012. [Read article]

illustration showing on in three women
During pregnancy

An estimated 14%–22% of women filled an opioid prescription during pregnancy. [Read summary 1external icon (data from 2000-2007)] [Read summary 2external icon (data from 2005-2011)]

Opioid use disorder at delivery

Opioid use disorder rates at delivery have more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014. [Read article]

Bar chart showing that opioid use disorder rates at delivery have more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

In 2014 (the latest data available), a baby was born with NAS every 15 minutes. This means that nearly 100 babies a day were born with NAS, which is about 32,000 babies in a year. [Read articleexternal icon]

Every 15 minutes a baby was born with NAS.

In 2014, for NAS total hospital costs in the US were over $563 million

Costs of NAS

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

  • Among Medicaid-financed births, infants with NAS had an average hospital stay of 16.6 days, costing, on average, more than $19,000. For comparison, a typical infant born at term had an average hospital stay of 3.5 days, costing, on average, about $3,700.
  • Among births covered by private insurance, infants with NAS had an average hospital stay of 14.9 days, costing, on average, more than $21,000.
  • More than 80% of babies with NAS are covered by Medicaid.
Neonatal abstinence syndrome by state

Data from 28 states during 1999–2013 showed that the occurrence of NAS ranged from a low of 0.7 cases per 1,000 hospital births (Hawaii) to 33.4 cases per 1,000 hospital births (West Virginia) in 2013. The dark gray states on the map had the greatest incidence of NAS, with more than 30 cases per 1,000 hospital births in 2012–2013.  [Read article]

The figure is a map of the United States showing the incidence rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome for states during 2012–2013. Details above and at linked article.

Page last reviewed: July 31, 2019