“Many” Pregnant Women Take Opioids, CDC Finds

Millions of American women of childbearing age take opioids — and many are swallowing the prescription painkillers before realizing they're pregnant, endangering their unborn babies, federal health officials warned Thursday, NBC News reported. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that a third of the young women enrolled in Medicaid and a quarter of the young women with private insurance filled opioids prescriptions every year from 2008 through 2012. This is of deep concern for some doctors because roughly half of all U.S. pregnancies are unplanned, and consuming opioids during the earliest weeks of pregnancy —between the fourth and 10th weeks — can cause birth defects.

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