Provision of, and Barriers to, Sexual Health Education & Reproductive Health Services Among Women of Reproductive Age in Opioid Use Treatment in North Carolina
Opioid use disorder has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Opioid misuse is especially alarming among women of reproductive age. There has been a dramatic increase in maternal opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome, a treatable central and autonomic nervous system dysfunction in newborns. Women with opioid use disorders have high rates of unintended pregnancies, low rates of contraceptive use, and more lifetime pregnancies than comparison women. Women of reproductive age in treatment for opioid use disorders often have significant unmet needs with regards to their reproductive health.
To begin to address this complex problem, the proposed research aims are: (1) To assess the extent to which evidence-based sexual health education and reproductive health services for women of reproductive age are currently incorporated into public opioid treatment programs in North Carolina; (2) To assess the feasibility of integrating evidence-based sexual health education and reproductive health services for women of reproductive age in public opioid treatment programs in North Carolina.
We will employ a mixed methods approach: quantitative survey (Aim 1) and in-depth qualitative interviews (Aim 2). Study results will be used as demonstration data to (1) design and pilot-test an evidenced-based sexual health education and reproductive health services intervention in a sample of opioid treatment programs in North Carolina; and (2) to identify efficacious components of implementation strategies through assessment of existing sexual health education and reproductive health programs and unmet needs of women of reproductive age within North Carolina opioid treatment programs.
Funded through the Pilot Program of the NC TraCS Institute and supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, through Grant Award Number UL1TR001111.