Children of the Opioid Crisis
Children are suffering in every state throughout our nation due to the opioid epidemic.
One in eight children in this country are abused or neglected before the age of eighteen.
After a decade of decline in foster care numbers (less children in the system), the past six years there has been an extremely large increase in cases due to the opioid crisis.
One of the major problems the opioid crisis brings are that the children coming into the foster care system are getting younger and younger. There are opioid addicted babies born daily, and grandparents and other family members are having to step in to raise children when their parents fall ill to addiction.
Foster Care System Overwhelmed
The foster care system and most local child welfare agencies do not have the funding necessary to take care of all the new children coming into the system due to the drug crisis. The foster care system is stretched, the resources are not there as much is what is needed. NPR did an entire hour long segment on the topic, the interviews came from states in the midwest and also the Carolinas.
The Opioid Epidemic is Killing Young Parents
This epidemic has claimed more than 72,000 lives in 2017, many of them by opioid overdoses.
“Call them Generation O: the children whose families are trapped in a relentless grip of addiction, rehab and prison. Here in Scioto County, a mix of verdant farmland and old mill towns on the southern edge of Ohio where everyone appears to know someone who has struggled with dependency, 51 people died of an overdose in 2017. At one school, administrators said, four kindergartners lost parents to drugs, and a fifth to a drug-related homicide.”
Children are being raised by grandparents because of how many parents are falling victim to the disease of addiction. The safety of the children is a concern, it is better to be raised by family members than parents when addiction is in the way. Too many children are left neglected, abused, and even without food because drug-users within the home are spending everything on their drug addiction.
There has been an increase in babies born addicted to opioids. There are addicts who are pregnant, actively abusing drugs and then giving birth and then their babies are born addicted to drugs. All of these separate problems are equally sad, and the ones suffering the most are the children who are left helpless and heartbroken because of the drug and alcohol addiction of their loved ones.
The first step to resolving this issue is for the ones suffering to admit there is a problem and get the help that is needed. An evidence-based treatment center like The Beaches works with family issues to resolve all the factors in an active user’s life in order for parents to get their children back and live a happy, healthy and productive life.