Mother and child hands
How the MAT-LINK project is shedding light on the opioid epidemic
The opioid epidemic has been a little less in the news lately—undoubtedly because the ongoing pandemic has given us more pressing and urgent public health concerns to focus on—but yet, it’s still raging on in the United States. In 2018, 10.3 million Americans misused prescription opioids, and 2 million had an opioid use disorder (OUD) according to the CDCEarly research is indicating that opioid use disorder may even be worsening in the face of the pandemic—both due to social and economic stressors, and an already overtaxed healthcare system that has even fewer resources than before the pandemic to cope with the opioid epidemic.

In the midst of this crisis, OUD among pregnant women seems to be on the rise; however, not many data exist on how many pregnant women and new mothers struggle with OUD, and what child health outcomes of these pregnancies look like. For this reason, CDC funded PHII to develop MAT-LINK, a surveillance network of clinical sites that will provide important data to public health to help answer some outstanding questions on maternal, infant and child health outcomes following treatment for OUD during pregnancy.

The video below provides some background on the MAT-LINK project, as well as some perspectives from some of the participating clinical sites. You can also learn more about this project on the MAT-LINK website.