The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that more than 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdose including prescription pain medications, heroin, and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. What began as an epidemic primarily driven by prescription opioids has morphed into an opioid epidemic driven by heroin and increasingly by illicit fentanyl. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is an illicitly manufactured synthetic (man-made) opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Recent trends in opioid-related deaths indicate that synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl and carfentanyl, sometimes mixed with heroin or cocaine, are driving these increases, with a 72.2% rise in death rates between 2014 and 2015. Drug overdose has become the leading cause of death in the United States among people under 50 years of age affecting children, families, and grandparents.
Children are the most vulnerable and at high risk in opioid using environments as reported by the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioids Crisis. Women who continue to use opioids throughout their pregnancy are likely to deliver a newborn with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Children living in homes with drug abusers are at risk of removal from their family due to neglect because the caregiver is using or is abusive towards the child. In 2016, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data revealed that for the third year in a row, the number of children in foster care had increased. Seventy-one percent of States reported an increase in the numbers of children entering foster care from 2014 to 2015 citing parental substance abuse as a contributing factor. The opioid epidemic has reached crisis proportions and is having a devastating impact on children and families in rural, urban, and tribal communities across the country.
The following resources provide information about the opioid crisis and its impact on children and families; youth focused substance abuse treatment and prevention strategies; and approaches to address the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis.
THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF THE OPIOID CRISIS ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
5 Things to Know About the Opioid Epidemic and its Effect on Children –
Learn how the drastic increase in the abuse of prescription opioids is impacting children and families.
Number of Children in Foster Care Continues to Increase (November 30th, 2017)
Foster care and adoption data is increasing in the number of children in foster care and in the number of adoptions due to a trend in the number of parental substance abuse, including the abuse of opioids.
Webinar Series Focuses on Maternal Opioid Use Disorders
The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Children's Bureau, produced this series of webinars focusing on the issue of maternal opioid use disorders and pregnancy.
The New Caregivers: Grandparents fill gaps in drug-ravaged families (June 2017)
This AARP Bulletin addresses the growing trend of grandparents raising grandchildren as a result of the opioid misuse, abuse and overdose and discusses the limited resources available to grandparents.
OPIOID/SUBSTANCE USE TREATMENT AND SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR YOUTH
Spotlight on Opioid/Substance Use Treatment and Services (March 2017)
Opioid and substance misuse is a widespread concern that affects many youth, families, and communities. March's Children’s Bureau Express highlights information on opioid and substance use as well as support services and treatment options for overcoming the devastating consequences of addiction.
THE OPIOID CRISIS: Impact on Native American Communities
AASTEC disseminated a new fact sheet on the impact and scope of the opioid crisis among Native American communities. This resource includes strategies that can be adopted at the individual, family and community level to reduce the harmful impact of opioids.
Opioid Addiction Treatment: A Guide for Parents, Families and Friends
This pocket guide for patients and families provides facts about opioid addiction treatment and was developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION STRATEGIES FOR YOUTH AND PARENTS
Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood (March 2016).
This resource presents research that shows that providing a stable home environment, adequate nutrition, physical and cognitive stimulation, warm supportive parenting, and good classroom management in the early years of a child’s life (prenatal through age 8) can lead the child to develop strong self-regulation (i.e., emotional and behavioral control) and other qualities that protect against a multitude of risks and increase the likelihood of positive developmental outcomes.
Partnership for Drug Free Kids
Science and research-based substance use and addiction resources are designed specifically for parents, including a helpline that offers one-on-one support.
Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem
Read the comprehensive report or view a video that addresses targeted prevention and treatment interventions to reduce the initiation of substance use and the risk of addiction among young people.
Monitoring the Future Survey: High School and Youth Trends (revised 12/2017)
Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders and measures how teens report drug and alcohol use and related attitudes. The trends among high school students are promising with illicit drug use, other than marijuana, holding steady at the lowest levels in over two decades.
(Graphic) Teen Survey Monitoring the Future 2017 Survey Results
Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders and measures how teens report drug and alcohol use and related attitudes. This infographic depicts the 2017 survey results.
APPROACHES TO CREATE COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS TO THE OPIOID CRISIS
The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioids Crisis (also known as the White House Opioids Commission)
The White House Opioids Commission’s final report, released November 2017. The report addresses the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency as declared under federal law on October 26, 2017 and its effect on communities across all 50 states. The impact of the opioid epidemic on children and families is examined. Recommendations made include a need to integrate evidence-based prevention programs and large-scale outreach programs within schools; provide tools for teachers and parents to address the dangers of drug use; and implement early intervention strategies.
Opioid Misuse, Overdose, and Death: A National Public Health Emergency
American Institutes for Research
Learn how many players can contribute to the national shared purpose to prevent and treat opioid use disorders; support sustained recovery; and reduce the devastating impact of opioid-related overdose and mortality on our children, families, and communities.
Ending the Opioid Crisis: A Practical Guide for State Policymakers
Its aim is to help state policymakers understand what a public health approach looks like and how best to implement one. It seeks to arm policymakers with the information they need to replace misinformation and stigma with research-based facts and practical, health-based solutions. Finally, it offers examples of data-informed and treatment-focused programs and initiatives on the state and local levels that can serve as models for states seeking to provide their citizens evidence-based prevention, early intervention, treatment, disease management, and recovery support.