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Children: The real victims of opioid epidemic

It’s no secret that like every other state in the nation, Florida is struggling with the opioid epidemic. While much thought and work have gone into trying to find ways to stop the spread of drug use, restrict access and help those addicted to it, there is a group that has become the silent victims of the drug. This group is the children of those who use opioids. 

While these kids are not using drugs and never asked to be a part of the lifestyle, they have no choice. According to the New York Times, many of them are becoming orphaned thanks to opioid overdoses or being removed from their homes because their parents are unable to care for them. They are crowding into the foster system putting a strain on the already overworked system. Sometimes grandparents step in and raise their grandchildren. 

Being stuck in the foster care system can lead to lifelong issues. Grandparents are often not prepared to raise a whole new set of children and lack the funds and ability to do so, which puts a huge burden on them. 

According to HealthDay, from 2012 to 2015, two out of every 1,000 children were taken from their homes because of neglect. This time period also saw a nine percent increase in the number of prescriptions issued for opioids. In fact, as opioid prescriptions rise in the state, so do the number of children being taken from their parents. It was a 32 percent rise for every 6.7 prescriptions written. Taking care of these children costs the state about $40 million each year. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

 

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