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Almost Half of American New Mothers are Prescribed Opioids

| Jul 31, 2019 | Drug Safety

A recent study from the University of Michigan revealed the prevalence of opioid prescriptions administered to mothers to address pre- or post-delivery pain — approximately 50% of women were prescribed the highly-addictive drugs for this purpose in the past ten years. Researchers studied 308,000 medical records, which consisted of women who had given birth between the years of 2008 to 2016. The sample focused exclusively on those who were newly exposed to opioids during the delivery process, and did not include women who had used opioids previously, were being treated for addiction issues, “underwent surgical or medical procedures within a year of delivering,” or “were hospitalized for more than a month after giving birth,” reported Forbes. Opioid prescriptions were more common among women who delivered their babies via C-section; researchers concluded that the probability of this was approximately a 75% chance. Comparatively, women who delivered their babies vaginally had a 25% chance of receiving an opioid prescription. The study unveiled not only the high frequency of prescriptions, but also the continued use of the drugs by some mothers well after giving birth: 1 in 75 of the women who were studied took opioids up to a year later. New mothers who were given more opioids to manage their pre-birth pain were more likely to continue use. These revelations expose the need for pain management plans that do not involve the use of opioids. Dr. Adi Davidov, who was interviewed by Forbes, emphasized the importance for medical professionals to determine the cause of pain before immediately administering opioids. Alternative methods, such as the use of nonnarcotic drugs and local treatment, can be equally effective for some conditions. This research raises concern in a time when superfluous opioid prescriptions have resulted in widespread addiction across the country. The lawyers of Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. are combatting the effects of the opioid epidemic by holding pharmaceutical corporations liable. If your family was impacted by opioids, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to discuss your case. Call (419) 719-5195 or send us a message to reach our team. Our consultations are free!