- Punitive policies on opioid use during the prenatal period do not reduce rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
Why this matters
- Punitive policies may deter women from seeking prenatal care.
- Policies that criminalised opioid use increased rates of NAS during the first year after enactment (aOR, 1.25; P=.007) and >1 year after enactment (aOR, 1.33; P<.001>
- Policies requiring reporting of perinatal opioid use did not affect rates of NAS.
- Repeated cross-sectional study.
- Rates of NAS were identified from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's State Inpatient Databases using ICD codes.
- A convenience sample from different time periods in 8 states that varied in their enactment of punitive or reporting policies was examined.
- Effects of 2 state policies compared (punitive vs reporting).
- Funding: the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
- Results may not be generalizable (only 8 states examined).
- Misclassification of ICD codes possible.