Children: Victims of the Opioid Crisis

Friday, February 14, 2020 at 2:11 pm in
Toddler brother holding and kissing baby brother

In Ohio a parent’s drug abuse was a factor in at least half of the state’s foster care placements.

Opioid abuse is the deadliest drug epidemic in our nation’s history, one that is killing tens of thousands of people every year. For every person directly affected, there are even more children who become victims of the crisis.

Substance abuse has long correlated with severe cases of child neglect and maltreatment. In 2016 alone, 676,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect, and about one-third of these children were under the age of 3.

In the past 8 years the number of children removed from their homes in which substance abuse was a factor nearly quadrupled. 

In Ohio a parent’s drug abuse was a factor in at least half of the state’s foster care placements.

These factors are putting a significant strain on state child welfare agencies, especially in states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, like Ohio. Caseworkers are overloaded, and homes available for the children are limited. The lack of resources endangers the very children we are trying to protect.

Placing children in foster care is a traumatic event, and for many children, it can be even more traumatic than the events that led to their removal from their home. Child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment, whether in a child’s home or in foster care, can delay and even prevent healthy brain development. A child’s cognitive thinking and language abilities can be affected, and they are at a greater risk of developing mental and emotional disorders and falling into alcohol and drug abuse later in life.

Our children are our future; our most valuable resource. There is much to be done to protect them from the cruel consequences of the opioid crisis.  

For more information, here are links to some of the programs in place in Ohio to protect our children. 2020-2024 CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES PLAN  
Mahoning County Child Services   Trumbull County Child Services    Columbiana County Child Services  


What can you do? If you are suffering from addiction and have children in your home, get the help you need now. Keep your family together and avoid the potential dire circumstances.


We can help. Call Valor now at 330-330-8777


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