Drug overdose deaths in the United States rose 4.6% in 2019 to 70,980, including 50,042 involving opioids, according to preliminary data released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data shows changes in overdose deaths by drug category and state. According to a separate CDC report released today, 6.6% of women reported using a prescription opioid pain reliever during pregnancy in 2019, and one in five of these women reported misusing opioids. The authors recommend obstetric providers discuss the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain, screen all pregnant women for substance use disorders, and provide referral and treatment as appropriate.

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