Around 20% of pregnant women misused opioids in 2019, CDC reports

About one in five U.S. women reported that they misused prescription opioids during pregnancy, a CDC analysis of survey data shows.

CDC analyzed data from surveys conducted in 2019 polling 21,488 women who had given birth in the last two to six months. Learn more about the data and methodology here.

Of the women polled, 20,643 (96.1 percent) provided information regarding prescription opioid use during their most recent pregnancy. Overall, 1,405 (6.6 percent) reported prescription opioid use during pregnancy.

A little over 21 percent of women who used prescription opioids during pregnancy reported misuse, with 4 percent reporting getting the opioids from a non-healthcare provider source and using them for reasons other than pain. Among women who used prescription opioids during pregnancy, 27.1 percent indicated wanting or needing to cut down or stop using.

About 68 percent of the women reported that a healthcare provider counseled them about the effect of opioid use on an infant.

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