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Treating Pregnant People for Opioid Use Disorder: Clinical Challenges
SUD 101 Core Curriculum Overview

Curriculum overview:  While healthcare professionals are often on the front lines of treating substance use disorders, most have limited (if any) training in this area. The SUD 101 Core Curriculum was created to provide a foundation of the current research, resources, and support needed to increase healthcare professionals’ competence and confidence in the care of their patients across the continuum of care. This activity,Treating Pregnant People for Opioid Use Disorder: Clinical Challenges, is part of the 23-module curriculum. Please see below for a summary of module 20 out of 23:
Module 20 Overview
Title: Treating Pregnant People for Opioid Use Disorder: Clinical Challenges 

Hendrée E Jones, PhD, Division and Executive Director, UNC Horizons, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina

Module Description: Opioid use disorder (OUD) among women and people who become pregnant is increasing in prevalence in clinical settings. The standard of care is to provide buprenorphine or methadone as a part of a complete treatment approach during pregnancy and beyond the postpartum period. This module reviews the historical and current context of opioid use among women and birthing people during pregnancy. It compares pharmacological treatment options for women and people who become pregnant with an OUD and also discusses the issues with detoxification or medically assisted withdrawal from opioids during pregnancy. Issues related to the treatment of OUD during pregnancy and in the postpartum period for the birthing person, fetus and child will also be discussed (e.g., induction, dosing, pain management, neonatal withdrawal and how to reduce its severity). 

Educational Objectives

  • Name at least two historical and current influences of the opioid crisis that affect pregnant people
  • Compare and contrast the risks and benefits of medication to treat opioid use disorder versus medication-assisted withdrawal for the effective treatment of patients with OUD during pregnancy and the postpartum period
  • Compare and contrast the risks and benefits of methadone and buprenorphine treatment during pregnancy for birthing person, fetus and child 
  • Identify at least three factors that are associated with reducing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)/ neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) severity among babies that are prenatally exposed to methadone or buprenorphine
Availability: On-Demand
Expires on Jan 12, 2026
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
1.25 CME Credits
1.25 PA-CME Credits
1.25 Other Professionals Credits
1.25 Nursing Credits
1.25 Pharmacy Credits
1.25 IPCE Credits
The content on this site is intended solely to inform and educate medical professionals. This site shall not be used for medical advice and is not a substitute for the advice or treatment of a qualified medical professional.

Funding for this initiative was made possible by cooperative agreement no. 1H79TI086770 and grant no. 1H79TI085588 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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