Opioid Abuse And Children – How Is It Darkening Our Kids’ Vibrant Adolescence?

June 24, 2022

The opioid crisis has been ongoing for many years. Children and families are being affected by it when a loved one is addicted. A child could grow up dealing with the second-hand effects such as a parent overdosing or dealing with the behaviors that may seem erratic and dangerous.

Children could grow up without a parent. This could be due to them being moved out of a living environment or that parent dying from an overdose. To remove them from a familiar place can be a daunting and negative change.

If you or someone you know that is a parent addicted to opioids and needs help, get it from here. Infinite Recovery will be able to make sure you live longer for your children. Because opioids should not play a role in their childhood.

Let’s talk more about opioid abuse and how it’s impacting children.

An infant with NAS is born every 25 minutes

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has become an issue in the last ten years. Because of this, a baby with NAS in the United States every 25 minutes. That’s how bad the opioid crisis has gotten.

It has affected children even before they are born. They can experience certain withdrawal symptoms. The reason for this is that their bodies may be taking in the drugs via their mother.

This has been more of an issue in rural community hospitals compared to those in urban areas. This is a stunning number considering that it’s happening in small towns rather than big cities.

NAS can also lead to costly hospital charges. The number is eye-popping. The cost is almost $94,000 per infant.

This is for treating an infant with NAS. On average, the infant will stay about 23 days in the hospital after being born. Medicaid is picking up the total cost, which estimates at about $1.5 billion.

However, infancy is not where opioid issues tend to end. Let’s take a look at more facts.

Opioid poisonings in toddlers have increased

From 1997 to 2012, there was a 205 percent increase in opioid poisonings involving children between the ages of 1 to 4 years. Not to be outdone, young people ages 19 or younger have suffered opioid poisoning as well.

Within that same time frame, there was a 165 percent increase. What’s alarming is that young people will get addicted to opioids faster than adults. That’s because certain parts of their brain had not fully developed.

Declining overdose deaths have reversed

From 2007 to 2014, the number of teen overdose deaths declined. The following year, that trend reversed and since then, the number has increased. In 2015, almost 800 teens died from opioid-related overdoses (with heroin being the main culprit).

This may come as no surprise as the opioid crisis has been dominating the news over the last several years. The sad part is that the number may be on pace to rise once more if nothing changes.

The number of children in foster care due to opioids has risen

In the last ten years, the number of children being put into foster care has risen. To be more specific, these are children that had parents who were addicted to opioids. Either they were removed by child protective services or due to the death of their parent(s).

In 2015 alone, more than 425,000 children were in foster care. Opioid addiction and overdose have proven that this can split up families. Imagine being a child being separated from your parents, but also your siblings that you may have known your entire life.

Later on, they may be in search of them. The loss of contact is possible when a family becomes separated from one another. The system may try to keep them together, but it may be a challenge.

The sad reality is that children with parents addicted to opioids will be more likely to be neglected or abused. For this reason, this can lead to long-term effects that will haunt them well into adulthood. This can even lead to them developing mental disorders like PTSD.

If anything, such mental disorders can create a high chance of themselves developing substance abuse. This is one major piece of evidence that the environment someone maybe it can lead to addiction.

Opioid abuse can ruin one’s childhood

If you are a parent of a child or children battling addiction, it’s important to make a decision. At this point, you may have yet to reach a stage where it may have already affected your children. If so, it’s never too late to make things right.

You can get the help you need and better yourself physically and mentally. As part of the treatment plan, you will also take the time to spend time with your kids. Repair the relationships that may have been damaged as a result.

If you have gone further into your addiction, chances are you are in a situation where your children may not be present. At this point, you have some challenges that lie ahead. Before pursuing this, you will need to get the help you need.

Being able to successfully complete a treatment program can prove that you may be fit for parental duties. However, this can come with legal challenges. It’s important to talk to an attorney or a caseworker about what can be done about getting your kids back after treatment.

Final Thoughts

As the opioid crisis continues, the sad reality of families being torn apart will continue. More children will be in foster care while a parent continues to spiral out of control or dies from an overdose. It’s an unfortunate thing that continues on when nothing changes.

You can do your part to kick your addiction and reform your family once again. Let Infinite Recovery be your go-to treatment center to help. For more information, you can visit their website and get the help you need so your children can have a bright future.


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