Sudden Surge in Maternal Overdose Fatalities in Recent Years

December 05, 2023

New findings published in JAMA Psychiatry reveal a dramatic surge in overdose deaths among individuals who are pregnant or in the postpartum period from 2018 to 2021. 

This research, carried out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institutes of Health, examined the occurrence of maternal deaths resulting from the overdose of commonly misused psychotropic drugs, encompassing heroin, opioids (including synthetic variants), and cocaine. 

The study focused on girls and women aged 10 to 44. Notably, the spike in overdose deaths was particularly pronounced among women aged 35 to 44. The disturbing trend highlights a critical public health concern and underscores the need for targeted interventions to address the specific challenges faced by this demographic.