How are Kids Affected by the Opioid Crisis?


Child with stuffed animal

The following is an excerpt from Alexis Lightle, a 17-year-old student who shared her story on Al Jazeera English, a media network comprising of more than 10 channels and divisions:

“I didn’t have much of a childhood. I got to do a little bit of the normal kid things but I didn’t get to go to the daddy-daughter dances with my girl scouts. I didn’t get to have mummy daughter days because my parents were out of my life for the most part. My dad was on pills and opiates and my mum was into heroin. My grandma was there for me and that’s the only support system I really had because my parents couldn’t be there for me, whether they wanted to or not.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids each day. The misuse of opioids is clearly a problem, as the United States government has been working to employ new regulations and educational tactics for the public to be warned of what and how much medication they are consuming. The effects of the opioid crisis dwindle into our homes, and our children are affected by this, whether we like it or not.

To begin, babies are impacted. The Huffington Post claimed that by 2012, an infant was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) on average every 25 minutes in the United States. This means that many children being born are at risk for premature birth, low birthweight, sleep and growth problems, tremors, and seizures. Not just babies are affected, however. In 2015, 772 teens aged 15-19 years old died from mainly opioid drugs, specifically heroin.

If our children and teenagers are not going through the opioid crisis themselves, they are suffering from the effects of their parents and other family members abusing these drugs. CNN stated last year that 2.7 million grandparents and other relatives are raising grandchildren. This number is staggering. The 2015 consensus states that another 430,000 are in foster care. There is now a word for this crisis: heroin orphans. The tragedy of these children and these teenagers missing out on their parents due to abuse and addiction is disheartening. We must begin taking control back over our lives to give our children the lives they deserve.

If you are addicted to opioids, make the decision to seek help today. Do it for yourself, and do it for your family. Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we provide resources and support to help you restore your mind, body, and spirit. Make the decision to seek help today. Your children need you. Call us at 888-743-0490 for a consultation.