“Drugs and alcohol can lead to children being abused, but when drugs are in the picture neglect is a certainty… Most people who have substance-abuse issues aren’t violent or abusive, but once you become addicted to a substance your life becomes about getting or using (drugs) and your budget, your money, goes towards those things, too… When you have something taking over your time and your money, kids often then take the back seat.”
Chris Swenson-Smith, division director of children and family services at Pima County Juvenile Court
According to “No Safe Haven: Children of Substance-Abusing Parents”, a two-year exhaustive analysis by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA):
- Substance abuse and addiction severely compromise or destroy the ability of parents to provide a safe and nurturing home for a child. Learn about how children feel living with their drug abuse parents.
- Substance abuse and addiction confound the child welfare system’s ability to protect children.
- Timely and comprehensive treatment can work for substance-abusing parents, and such treatment is cost effective.
- Only a major overhaul of the child welfare system and dramatic changes in child welfare practice can make real progress against this formidable problem.
In addition, Reuters’s recent investigation has identified 110 cases since 2010 in the United States, in which the mother used opioids during pregnancy, causing the baby to suffer unnecessarily or even die. More than 40 of the children suffocated. 13 died after swallowing toxic doses of methadone, heroin, oxycodone or other opioids. In one case, a baby in Oklahoma died after her mother, high on methamphetamine and opioids, put the 10-day-old girl in a washing machine with a load of dirty laundry. Learn about the situation in Hong Kong.
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