This bill would require the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to report on prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
The purpose of the report would be to identify barriers to treatment for mothers who have abused opioids (like heroin or pain medications), and their unborn children who were exposed in the womb. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is the term for the effects of opioid withdrawal experienced by newborn children. The AHRQ’s report would include:
Assessments of existing research on neonatal abstinence syndrome;
Evaluations of the causes and barriers to treatment of opioid use among women of reproductive age;
An evaluation of treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorders and infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome;
Recommendations for preventing, identifying, and treating opioid dependency in women and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
The Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be required to review its current activities related to prenatal opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome. It would then develop a strategy to address gaps in research and programs that deal with these issues.
Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would be required to provide technical assistance to states in order to improve neonatal abstinence syndrome tracking. That tracking data would be made available to the public.