Advocacy & Health Policy: ACOG Partners with SAHMSA on National Prevention Week 2015

ACOG has partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support National Prevention Week, an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. National Prevention Week 2015 will take place May 17-23, 2015.

 This year’s National Prevention Week consists of seven days, each day with its own theme. One of ACOG’s 2015 legislative priorities is supporting appropriate efforts to reduce maternal opioid dependence, including:

  • Promoting public health efforts to reduce maternal opioid dependence and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
  • Opposing punitive legislation against women with opioid dependence and babies born with NAS

Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses increased more than 400% between 1999 and 2010, with nearly 48,000 women dying of prescription painkiller overdoses during that period. The nonmedical use of prescription drugs, particularly opioids, sedatives, and stimulants, has been cited as an epidemic in the United States, accounting for increasing numbers of emergency department visits and deaths from reactions and overdoses. Chronic untreated of some opioids during pregnancy greatly increases the risk of fetal growth restriction, placental abruption, preterm labor, and fetal death. Conversely, opioid withdrawal without treatment also raises the risk of fetal death. 

 ACOG has developed the following resources to assist clinicians:

For more information on ACOG resources, please contact

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998