From Mother Jones: “As the opioid crisis sweeps the nation, it is taking a particularly devastating toll on children: The number of kids entering foster care because of parental drug use has more than doubled since 2000, according to new research in JAMA Pediatrics.
The scourge of addiction to painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl sweeping the country has produced a flood of bewildered children who, having lost their parents to drug use or overdose, are now living with foster families or relatives. In Ashtabula County, in Ohio’s northeast corner, the number of children in court custody quadrupled from 69 in 2014 to 279 last year. ‘I can’t remember the last time I removed a kid and it didn’t have to do with drugs,’ says Mongenel, a quick-witted redhead. Her clients range from preschoolers who know to call 911 when a parent overdoses to steely teenagers who cook and clean while Mom and Dad spend all day in the bathroom. Often, the kids marvel at how quickly everything changed—how a loving mom could transform, as one teenager put it, into a ‘zombie.'”