Protecting Our Infants Act: Report to Congress

This report discusses the findings of a review of the Strong Starts Court Initiative (also called Strong Starts), launched by the Center for Court Innovation. This report was compiled by SAMHSA - Behavioral Health Coordinating Council Subcommittee on Prescription Drug Abuse.

The Protecting Our Infants Act (Public Law 114-91), enacted on November 25, 2015, mandated that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
• Conduct a review of planning and coordination of HHS activities related to prenatal opioid exposure and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
• Develop recommendations for the prevention of prenatal opioid exposure; treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD); and prevention, identification, and treatment of NAS, as well as any long-term consequences thereof.
• Develop a strategy to address these issues, gaps, overlap, and duplication among federal programs, and coordination of federal efforts to address NAS.
 
In response to this Act, this report provides background information on prenatal opioid exposure and NAS, summarizes HHS activities related to prenatal opioid exposure and NAS, presents clinical and programmatic evidence and recommendations for preventing and treating NAS, and presents a strategy to address the identified gaps, challenges, and recommendations. Full implementation of the recommendations included in this report will be contingent upon adequate funding. This document encompasses both reports required by the Act, but will be subject to public comment and revision of the strategy based on these comments.