Pregnancy and Drug Use A Growing Trend

Published: April 19, 2018

Pregnancy and drug use statistics are on the rise.

Last year St. Luke's Hospital in Sioux City tallied 72 infant drug exposures, up slightly from 70 in 2016. So far in 2018, 17 infant drug exposures have been recorded at the hospital.

In 2017, the hospital said 21 percent of babies that tested positive had more than one type of drug in their system, up from 16 percent in 2016.

These numbers are one reason why Dr. Bob Bonebrake, maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Methodist Women's Hospital, will be among the featured speakers at St. Luke's Perinatal Conference next month.

Bonebrake said the majority of pregnant women he sees are using prescription opioids, rather than illegal opioids such as heroin. He said the use of prescription opioids may be "completely appropriate and necessary for chronic pain."

Sioux City Journal's Dolly Butz : St. Luke's Changes Infant Drug Screening