Treatment for Pregnant People with Opioid Use Disorder in Jail

While the standard of care for pregnant people with opioid use disorder (OUD) is to be on medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) with methadone or buprenorphine, the PIPS study found that this care is not consistently available, meaning that pregnant people in custody are being forced to go through withdrawal.

This study focuses on jails, recognizing that they are embedded in communities and that pregnant people with OUD entering jails need appropriate care and linkages to services when they return to the community. We conducted the largest ever research survey of jails (nearly 3,000 surveyed!) to document the availability of MOUD for pregnant people, followed by in-depth interviews with administrators. In the second phase, we are exploring the perspectives and experiences of the directly impacted people, pregnant people with OUD in jail. In the third phase, we will design a menu-based, strategy informed by this formative research, with various components that jails can adapt to their setting to provide patient-centered, standard MOUD care to pregnant people.

Funded by: National Institutes of Health (NIDA-5K23DA045934-02)​


See our custom algorithm for identifying and triaging pregnant people with OUD in jail, Initial Pregnancy and OUD Screening and Care at Jail Intake.

Journal Publications:

Kao, L., Parayil, T., Lee, C., Kramer, C., and Sufrin, C. Assessing Provision of MOUD and Obstetric Care in U.S. Jails: A content analysis of policies submitted by 59 jails. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2023;248:109877. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.109877

Sufrin C, Kramer CT, Terplan M, et al. Availability of Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Among Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals in US Jails. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(1):e2144369. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.44369

King Z, Kramer C, Latkin C, Sufrin C. Access to treatment for pregnant incarcerated people with opioid use disorder: Perspectives from community opioid treatment providers. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021 Jul;126:108338. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108338. Epub 2021 Feb 25. PMID: 34116823; PMCID: PMC8197773.