There are immediate concerns for a woman using opioids during pregnancy along with her infant being exposed to opioids in utero resulting in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS: withdrawal symptoms experienced by the infant after birth affecting the autonomic, gastrointestinal and the neurological systems. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health Statistics in their 2014 research stated: an estimated 225,000 infants are exposed to illicit substances each year and the numbers are increasing; every 25 minutes an infant is born exposed to opioids and is diagnosed with NAS. In 2014 the annual health care cost was $1.5 billion for infants with NAS admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and stayed for 16 or more days. The health care costs can be lowered if information / education regarding opioids & pregnancy are given to the mother early.
The Positive Direction Model is an educational guide specifically for pregnant women, families and advocates as they are collaborating with health care / medical providers during pregnancy under the guidance of a Navigator. The Positive Direction Model prepares the mother of expectations during pregnancy along with understanding NAS. The results of the Positive Direction Model: increase self-efficacy, a safe delivery of the infant and continued sobriety for a healthy environment beyond the pregnancy.