About the DQTQ
The current opioid epidemic has particularly affected women of reproductive age in rural areas; a direct result of higher poverty levels and limited access to healthcare. Socioeconomic disparities more prevalent in rural areas and are associated with delays in initiation of adequate prenatal care and higher rates of adverse birth outcomes.
The DQTQ Program was developed specifically for rural North Dakota women with opioid use disorder (OUD) who are pregnant, postpartum (and) breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant, parenting (and) breastfeeding with OUD and living in rural areas are disproportionally affected by barriers to optimal care including:
- Shortages in treatment capacity and limited access to providers who are waivered to prescribe Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) and treatment services.
- Distance to healthcare
- Lack of transportation and financial burdens of travel
- Limited access to mental health care which is critically necessary to address comorbidities associated with maternal OUD, and
- Concerns from non-specialists about safety of MOUD during pregnancy
In addition, misinformation among healthcare professionals and systems can result in reluctance to provide care for WPPB creating an additional barrier to care.
In an effort to address these concerns, the DQTQ focuses on Access, Education and Support.
ACCESS: The DQTQ is working to Increase the number of healthcare providers who prescribe MOUD for women struggling with opioid use disorder who are pregnant, postpartum (and) breastfeeding.
EDUCATION: The power to change comes through education! The DQTQ is increasing awareness and knowledge about women who are pregnant, postpartum (and) breastfeeding and are struggling with opioid use disorder
- North Dakota WIC is participating in the DQTQ too! WIC staff in the eight county DQTQ region are integral to this program! WIC staff are participating in educational training about women with substance use disorders and opioid use disorders, and community support for referral to treatment options. ND WIC is a fabulous resource for mothers and families in rural North Dakota.
- Women who choose to participate in the DQTQ attend FREE online educational webinars during the grant period. Family and friends are also invited to attend any of the webinars.
SUPPORT: The DQTQ is bring more postpartum community support to rural North Dakota by training several community members to become postpartum doulas. Growing healthy families is hard work! Doulas are committed to social justice and perinatal support equity and are valuable community members with postpartum expertise. Please see the “What is a Postpartum Doula?” tab for more information