With each passing day, the number of people consumed by opioid addiction continues to rise. And while adults make up the bulk of these tragic statistics, there is a group suffering even more: children. The opioid epidemic has claimed countless young lives and has left many others scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. In
With each passing day, the number of people consumed by opioid addiction continues to rise. And while adults make up the bulk of these tragic statistics, there is a group suffering even more: children. The opioid epidemic has claimed countless young lives and has left many others scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how opioids are impacting children and what steps we can take to protect them from becoming yet another victim in this ongoing crisis.
The Opioid Epidemic in America
The opioid epidemic in America is a national tragedy. Every day, hundreds of people die from overdoses, and thousands more are addicted. The impact of this epidemic is felt most powerfully by our nation’s children.
One out of every four kids in the U.S. has a parent who struggles with addiction, and half of all foster children in the country have been placed there because their parents were using drugs. These children are at a higher risk for abuse and neglect, and they often end up in the child welfare system.
In addition to the emotional toll this takes on children, the opioid epidemic also has a financial one. In 2016, the cost of caring for kids affected by the opioid crisis was estimated at $2.8 billion. This number is only going to grow as the epidemic continues.
We must do better for our children. We must provide them with the support they need to heal from trauma and build stable futures. We must also work to prevent future generations from being impacted by this devastating disease.
How the Opioid Epidemic is Affecting Children
The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled since 1999.1 In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from an overdose involving an opioid, and more than two thirds of those deaths involved a prescription opioid.2
The rise in opioid overdoses has also had a profound impact on children. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the number of children ages 0-17 who were hospitalized due to an accidental overdose of prescription opioids increased five-fold between 2004 and 2015.3 And while the majority of these hospitalizations involved adolescents, the number of young children hospitalized for this reason also increased during this time period.
According to the CDC, there were approximately 1,600 pediatric deaths due to opioids in 2016, which is more than triple the number of such deaths in 1999.4 And while some of these deaths were due to illicit drugs like heroin, many were also due to prescription opioids. In fact, data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that nearly one third of all pediatric drug overdoses involve prescription opioids.5
The increase in pediatric overdoses is likely due to a number of factors, including the fact that prescriptions for opioids have increased dramatically in recent years. According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescriptions for opioids have quadrupled since 1999.6 This increase is
The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children’s Mental Health
The opioid epidemic has been sweeping the nation for years now, and its effects are far-reaching. One group that is particularly vulnerable to the fallout from this crisis is children.
Studies have shown that children exposed to parental substance abuse are at an increased risk for developing mental health problems later in life. This is due to a variety of factors, including witnessing traumatic events, experiencing neglect or abuse, and having unstable home environments.
Now, with the rise of the opioid epidemic, more children than ever before are being exposed to these risk factors. According to a recent study, nearly one in four children in the U.S. lives in a household where someone is misusing opioids. This means that millions of children are living in chaotic and dangerous environments.
Not surprisingly, the mental health effects of the opioid epidemic are already being felt by children across the country. A 2017 study found that emergency room visits for psychiatric problems among kids aged 5-11 had doubled over a five-year period. And this trend is only expected to continue as the crisis continues to evolve.
If we want to protect our children’s mental health, it’s clear that we need to do more to address the root causes of the opioid epidemic. This means investing in prevention and treatment programs that can help keep families together and provide kids with stable homes and support systems
What Can be Done to Help Children Suffering from the Opioid Epidemic?
The opioid epidemic has reached a crisis point in the United States, with devastating consequences for communities across the country. Children are among the most vulnerable victims of this epidemic, suffering from the loss of parents and other caregivers, as well as the effects of drug use and addiction on their developing bodies and brains.
There are a number of things that can be done to help children suffering from the opioid epidemic. First, it is important to provide them with stability and security. This can be done by ensuring that they have a safe place to live, access to food and other basic necessities, and supportive adults in their lives.
Second, it is important to provide treatment and support for children who are struggling with addiction themselves. This may include inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, 12-step programs, therapy, and other services.
Third, it is important to prevent children from becoming addicted in the first place. This means educating them about the dangers of drugs, providing them with positive role models, and helping them develop coping skills for dealing with stress and adversity.
Fourth, it is important to support families who are struggling with addiction. This includes providing resources for treatment and recovery, as well as offering emotional support.
Finally, it is important to advocate for policies that will address the root causes of the opioid epidemic. This includes improving access to mental health care, addressing poverty and economic inequality, reforming our criminal justice system, and increasing funding for research into effective treatments for addiction
In conclusion, the opioid epidemic is an ongoing crisis and it’s been devastating to those affected by it. The most vulnerable victims in this tragedy are the children, whose childhoods have been cut short due to the negligence of their parents or caregivers. We need to do more to address this issue so that we can save future generations from suffering similar fates as those lost in this epidemic. Education on safe opioid use is key, as well as more support systems for families dealing with addiction in order to ensure that these tragedies never again occur.