Best Practices for Pregnant Incarcerated Women With Opioid Use Disorder

Mary Peeler, Kevin Fiscella, Mishka Terplan, Carolyn Sufrin
Journal of Correctional Health Care 2019, 25 (1): 4-14
Pregnant women represent a unique population for correctional facilities to care for. The incarcerated pregnant population is at an increased risk of concurrent opioid use disorder (OUD) that requires specialized care. The evidence-based best practice and standard of care for pregnant women with OUD is medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone or buprenorphine pharmacotherapy. Correctional facilities that house women must be prepared to provide this care in a timely manner upon intake in order to address the serious medical needs of the pregnant woman and her fetus. Providing MAT in the incarceration setting has distinctive logistics that must be considered. This article recommends strategies to optimize the care of pregnant incarcerated women with OUD, emphasizing the importance of appropriate counseling and treatment with opioid agonist pharmacotherapy.

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