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Evaluation of State-Led Surveillance of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome — Six U.S. States, 2018–2021

Shahla M. Jilani, MD; Kristina West, MS, LLM; Laura Jacobus-Kantor, PhD; Mir M. Ali, PhD; Alice Nyakeriga, PhD; Heather Lake-Burger, MS, MPH; Meagan Robinson; A. Elise Barnes, MPH; Tracey Jewell, MPH; Shayne Gallaway, PhD – 2022

Increasing diagnoses of maternal opioid use disorder and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) continue to affect U.S. communities. During 2018, a study of six states with mandated NAS case reporting for public health surveillance (2013-2017) found that mandated reporting helped quantify NAS incidence and inform programs and services. A follow-up study of these states found continued advantages in determining NAS incidence and community exposure patterns to guide state program development. However, persistent data collection challenges and infrastructural gaps influence states’ capacity for longer-term surveillance beyond initial case reporting. States considering surveillance beyond initial case reporting might benefit from understanding opportunities and challenges related to necessary infrastructure and resource development to facilitate longer-term public health follow-up.