Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Patricia Howard

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli

Committee Member

Dr. Peggy El-Mallakh


The problem of opiate addiction is complex enough but compounded when the patient is pregnant. Substance use during pregnancy produces harmful and costly effects to both the mother and the fetus (Veilleux, Colvin, Anderson, York & Hines, 2010). The rate of opiate addiction among pregnant women in the U.S. has been increasing in epidemic numbers since the beginning of the 21st century. This paper looks at research on the origin of the problem, the demographics of the average pregnant opiate addicted patient, the effects on the woman and her unborn child, and available treatment options.