December 9, 2013

Another View: State drug policy doesn’t overlook pregnant women

Expectant mothers on Medicaid are exempt from a two-year addiction treatment limit.

By Rep. Richard Malaby

On Nov. 27, the Portland Press Herald ran an editorial titled “Our View: Maine drug policy puts two generations at risk,” with the subtitle, “To address a rise in the number of addicted newborns, the state should lift limits on treating their mothers.”

about the author

State Rep. Richard Malaby, R-Hancock, is a member of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee.

In crafting this legislation and the subsequent rules, it was very clear to those of us serving on the Health and Human Services Committee that the risks associated with withdrawal from opiates during pregnancy far outweigh any potential benefits to the mother and the fetus.

Consequently, pregnant women are automatically exempt from the two-year limit, for either methadone or Suboxone. No pregnant woman in Maine has ever been denied access to either drug while pregnant. Ever.

Furthermore, the rules adopted specify that the two-year limit did not commence until Jan. 1, 2013. In addition, Subutex is the treatment of choice for pregnant women, not Suboxone.

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