Increase Seen in Amphetamine Use in Pregnant Women

Increase in amphetamine-, opioid-related deliveries disproportionate between rural vs urban counties.
Increase in amphetamine-, opioid-related deliveries disproportionate between rural vs urban counties.

HealthDay News — The incidence of amphetamine and opioid use has increased among pregnant women, especially in rural counties, according to a study published online November 29 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Lindsay K. Admon, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues analyzed 2004 to 2015 data from the National Inpatient Sample to estimate trends in incidence, outcomes, and costs among hospital deliveries related to maternal amphetamine or opioid use. 

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The researchers found that from 2008-2009 to 2014-2015, there was a disproportionate increase in amphetamine- and opioid-related deliveries across rural versus urban counties in 3 of 4 census regions. Amphetamine use was identified among about 1% of deliveries in the rural West by 2014 to 2015; this number was higher than the incidence of opioid use in most regions. Amphetamine-related deliveries correlated with an elevated incidence of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and severe maternal morbidity and mortality compared with opioid-related and other deliveries.

"Although the opioid epidemic continues to escalate, policymakers and providers can leverage our early identification of rising amphetamine use during pregnancy to stem an additional drug epidemic," the authors write. "Policymakers should prioritize a response to substance use that builds adequate treatment capacity to address current substance use epidemics and can be adapted for future epidemics that may involve other substances. Bold action is needed to improve the health of mothers and children in the United States."

One author reported being a paid, expert witness for Bayer.

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