Children enter foster care for many reasons, but one of the most prevalent issues is drug abuse by one or both parents. In fact, it has become an epidemic which involves extended family as well. Drug addiction is leading to younger children being taken into care, some as young as newborns.
The Increase in Drug Addiction
Heroin has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. It’s not just teenagers and young adults who are using. Adults with children and stable jobs fall victim to the appeal of heroin and other drugs. They may start out using a prescription drug which turns into the search for illegal substances.
Alcohol is another addictive substance that leads to the breakup of families. The parents go in search of the drug of choice, many of them losing their jobs and becoming unable to support the family. Neglect results and even abuse before the children are taken into custody.
Children may be born addicted if the mother is using during her pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for a newborn to go through withdrawal of alcohol or an illegal substance. Many of these children are affected through developmental delays or other issues.
Youth Drug Abuse
Another result of the parents’ using drugs is their children grow up with that same tendency. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to drug abuse or those who have an addicted parent are at an increased risk for addiction.
Many of these addicts struggle with relapse even if they become clean and get their children back. The kids may go into care two, three or even more times as their parent struggles to stay clean.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction and trying to raise a child, encourage them to seek out help through a drug treatment program.