Project Abstract

The goal of this data linkage project is to inform efforts to strengthen families affected by substance use during a pregnancy and substance exposure of a newborn. The meaningful ways we define dyads of mothers and substance exposed newborns can bring into focus opportunities for prevention, treatment, and support. This project will examine a comprehensive set of definitions for substance exposed newborns in order to understand which mothers and children are at greatest risk for vulnerable life experiences in the prenatal and infant years.

In year one of the project, we will generate baseline information on trends in substance exposed newborns. In year two, we will describe – separately for each definition – how dyads of mothers and children engage in the child welfare, health, mental health, substance use, public benefit, and related systems beginning the year prior to the birth and continuing through a year postpartum. Babies born between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017 will be included in the study.

The short-term goal of this project is to establish a baseline for how dyads engage with a given system and baseline data on health outcomes and mortality rates. The long-term goal is to understand how newborn substance exposure relates to patterns of cross-system engagement and life outcomes in order to provide insight into opportunities to strengthen families.


Colorado General Assembly

Research Partners: 

Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

Illuminate Colorado

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab


Perinatal Substance Use Data Linkage Project: Multi-Year Strategic Research Agenda

This multi-year research agenda outlines a strategy for leveraging the data linkage project to guide state investments and decision-making in policies and practices positioned to improve family health and well-being

2021 Legislative Report

Progress on the Perinatal Substance Use Data Linkage Project authorized under SB19-228, SB20-028, and SB21-137

Policy Brief: Plans of Safe Care to Support Families Impacted by Perinatal Substance Use Disorders

Data-informed Recommendations for Cross-system Policy and Practice Investments

Phase One Supplemental: Maternal & Infant Mortality in the First Year of Life

Maternal and infant mortality outcomes in the first year of life for mother-infant dyads with child welfare involvement

SB19-228 Legislative Report

Progress on the Perinatal Substance Use Data Linkage Project authorized under SB19-228 and SB20-028

Part One: Prenatal Substance Use and Improving Family Health

Mother and infant risk and protective factors associated with child welfare involvement in the first 60 days after a referral was made

Related Releases

SB19-228: Colorado Perinatal Substance Use Data Linkage Project


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