A new study released Monday shows higher than average rates of opioid use among Butler County women visiting hospitals to give birth.
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, a state agency, released a study on substance use by pregnant women in Pennsylvania. Its data links opioid use to birth complications, and it shows that such problems are disproportionately affecting women in poorer parts of the state and where fewer people have college degrees.
About 20 patients out of every 1,000 staying in hospitals for maternal care statewide in 2016 and 2017 used opioids, the study found. About twice that number used some sort of substance, although opioids were the most common. The study looked at use of opioids, cannabis, cocaine, alcohol, methamphetamines and heroin, according to Joe Martin, PHC4's executive director.
During the same time in Butler County, about 29 patients out of every 1,000 used opioids.
“These findings continue to stress how important it is to focus attention on the opioid crisis,” Martin said in a news release. “The impact on new mothers and new babies, as previous PHC4 findings have shown, is alarming.”
Read more about this study in Thursday's Butler Eagle.