The medications methadone and buprenorphine are considered “gold standards” for the treatment of opioid use disorder. They are so effective, in fact, that they are considered nearly curative for people that use them as prescribed. Unfortunately, a multitude of social and physical barriers to access means that only about 20% of people that need them have access to these treatments. That access is even harder for pregnant people, who face additional stigmas and challenges.

Judith Cole, a nurse practitioner, and addiction psychiatrist Arthur Robin Williams join the podcast this week to speak about these specific challenges, including the reality that federal law allows for child protective services to be called when people receiving legal effective treatments for addiction have given birth. Despite medications like methadone being fully safe during pregnancy, they continue to carry a stigma that can result in trauma for both birth parents and newborns.

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