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Foster Care Cases for Parental Drug Use Doubles

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The number of cases in which a child entered the foster care system because of parental drug use has more than doubled since the year 2000, according to a report from National Public Radio.

This conclusion was published in a report by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics after researchers analyzed data collected by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS).

Boosting Resources

The increase of foster care cases due to parental drug use coincides with the national opioid epidemic — of which states in New England and Appalachia, including Ohio, have been hardest hit. The opioid epidemic, however, is not the only factor. The increase could also have to do with increases in drug use overall, not only opiates, and policy changes that are less lenient towards parents using drugs.

In the NPR report, April Dirks, an associate professor of Social Work at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said so many families in the Midwest have been torn apart by the epidemic that “it’s a crisis at this point.”

The impact has certainly been felt in Ohio, where legislators recently approved a state budget for the next two years that will likely include increased funding to support Ohio youth. In recent years, the state’s Child Services resources have been stretched thin because of the opioid epidemic.

Family Disease, Family Recovery

Those in recovery frequently say that addiction is a “family disease.” This is not only because there is evidence that addiction is hereditary, but because when one person is an addict, that person’s entire family feels the consequences.

At Midwest Detox Center, you can take the important first step in your own recovery or the recovery of a loved one. Detoxing from drugs and alcohol in a safe and controlled environment is crucial for your physical health and your ability to recover from your addiction and return to your family. To learn more about continuing treatment after detox, visit our Levels of Care page.

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