Mandatory Reporting Law Is Harmful for Pregnant People with Substance Use Disorder

Currently in Massachusetts, healthcare providers are mandated to report a person to the Department of Children & Families for suspected abuse or neglect when they give birth to a baby who was exposed to substances designated as “addictive drugs” prenatally. Included in this list of substances are methadone and buprenorphine, FDA-approved treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD), meaning that healthcare providers are required to report pregnant mothers who are actively participating in evidence-based, physician-recommended treatment for OUD.

The CARE Unit’s Drs. Bagley, and Harris wrote and signed a letter that was sent to the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities in support of eliminating the requirement to report abuse and neglect for babies born with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Read more here.