“The number of babies born with addictions to opioids and debilitating withdrawal symptoms is rapidly growing amid the national heroin epidemic, up by double digits over 2016.” Reports of these startling and hard numbers from all over the country were compiled in this recent article from The Daily Caller.
Cleveland.com recently reported that addiction to prescription pain-killers are at the root of a nation-wide heroin epidemic. “One of the most disturbing impact is on children of addicts who are being born with addictions of their own. Six in every 1,000 babies were born with opioid withdrawal in 2013, up from 1.5 in every 1,000 babies in 1999. That number is likely growing larger amid the ongoing crisis.”
The director of Family Services with the Virginia Department of Social Services, Carl Ayers, recently testified that the rates of newborn babies suffering from withdrawal from opioids had risen by 21 percent in 2016. Rural hospitals are seeing the sharpest increase in numbers of babies born to parents who are drug-addicted. Many of the hospitals are just not equipped to handle the rising numbers of fragile babies.
“In states hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis, social services are [also] becoming overwhelmed by the need for child care. Officials in Ohio say that opioids are the main driver of a 19 percent spike in the number of kids removed from parental custody for foster care since 2010.”
In December, Robin Reese, the executive director of Ohio’s Lucas County Children Services, told The Wall Street Journal, “Honestly, if something doesn’t happen with this addiction crisis, we can lose a generation of kids. God knows I would hate to see orphanages come back, but the child-protection system is being inundated now.”
The original story and all its links can be found here.