Opiate Addiction Epidemic Has Forced Grandparents To Raise Own Grandchildren

opiate addiction | Just Believe Recovery PA

In This Article

Opiate Addiction Epidemic Has Forced Grandparents To Raise Own Grandchildren

According to child welfare representatives, drug addiction, particularly opiate addiction, is responsible for increasing numbers of grandparents raising their own grandchildren. That is, their own children are addicted to prescription drugs or heroin, or have died from an overdose. Recent estimates point to 2.4 million persons addicted to these drugs.

Between 2005-2015, the number of children living with custodial grandparents rose from 2.5 million 2.9 million. Of note, this trend is similar to the one we saw back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s during the crack cocaine crisis.

opiate addiction | Just Believe Recovery PACaseworkers, in many states, are saying that the number of children neglected by parents suffering from opiate addiction is increasing. Because of this, the foster care system is becoming overloaded, and grandparents are often the first people they will turn to.

Currently, federal law requires states look at child placement with relatives in order to receive foster care and adoption support. Grandparents are often the first and best choice when the child must be placed in the custody of another.

This can minimize the trauma done to the child, because they are placed with close family members, particularly ones who are already parental figures in their life.

According to Generations United, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth, and older adults through inter-generational collaboration, there are twenty children raised by relatives outside of the system for every child legally placed in foster care with a relative.

For those acting as custodial caregivers outside of the system, they may face a host of emotional and financial challenges, and likely receive little or no help from state or local resources.

Additionally, 21% of grandparents in a custodial role with grandchildren are living in poverty. Furthermore, 39% are over age 60, and 26% live with a disability. And those who are not licensed within the system are not eligible for resources and support. Many are on Social Security.

What’s Being Done – And Not Being Done

opiate addiction | Just Believe Recovery PASome states are trying to help. Lawmakers in Louisiana, for example, voted in June to establish a grandparents’ council in the governor’s office. Lawmakers in New Mexico voted in February to establish a task force aimed at examining the issue, and offering recommendations for policy changes that could assist grandparents.

Additionally, a Massachusetts bill still in the works would offer grandparents in a custodial role property tax relief. And finally, lawmakers in Georgia are considering bills that would help grandparents take their custodial grandchildren to the doctor or enroll them in school, but ultimately the bills did not pass.

Congress has taken notice as well. Danny Davis (D-IL) introduced a bill last May that would make it easier for custodial grandparents to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. While that bill is still lingering, in September, Senate inaction killed a bill that would have offered funding to substance abuse programs aimed at helping families with children at risk for entering foster care.

Barriers

opiate addiction | Just Believe Recovery PAGrandparents who don’t become licensed face many obstacles to receiving help. Those who do not get licenses often don’t apply for legal custody because they don’t want to take their own children into court.

Applying for welfare also means that the state might force their own children to pay child support – something that someone struggling with opiate addiction would likely have a hard time doing.

Indeed, foster parents who are licensed have access to more services, financial support, and medical care. But qualifying means going through a time-consuming process and meeting requirements. For example, states have specific requirements regarding square footage and bedrooms for every child. This creates obstacles for grandparents who need to house multiple grandchildren in what is often a limited space.

Many grandparents are simply unaware of the resources potentially available to them. And it’s a shame – according to Generations United, custodial grandparents and other relatives save taxpayers $4 billion every year by preventing children from entering the foster care system.

Related: Opiate Addiction Has Special Impact on Mothers

opiate addiction | Just Believe Recovery PAAccording to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, women are more likely to complain of chronic pain and be prescribed prescription painkillers.

They are also prescribed higher doses, and use them for a longer duration than men. Chronic use of painkillers is often what leads to dependency and opiate addiction.

Between 1999-2010, more than 48,000 women died of prescription painkiller overdoses. Deaths by overdose increased over 400% in women during this time, compared to a 237% increase among men.

In addition, many more became addicted to heroin, or died from heroin overdoses. It is estimated that as many as 80% of new heroin users first became addicted to prescription painkillers, and turned to heroin when their prescriptions ran out or became too costly. In fact, heroin overdose deaths among women have tripled in recent years. From 2010-2013, heroin overdoses in women increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

[vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”Select a button below to get started now!” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_separator color=”turquoise” style=”shadow” border_width=”5″][vc_empty_space][vc_column width=”1/2″][ult_buttons btn_title=”CALL US ” btn_link=”url:tel%3A(800)%20723-7376%20||” btn_align=”ubtn-center” btn_size=”ubtn-block” btn_title_color=”#ffffff” btn_bg_color=”#dd521c” btn_hover=”ubtn-fade-bg” btn_bg_color_hover=”#ffffff” btn_title_color_hover=”#df5104″ icon_size=”32″ btn_icon_pos=”ubtn-sep-icon-left” btn_border_style=”solid” btn_color_border=”#df5104″ btn_color_border_hover=”#df5104″ btn_border_size=”3″ btn_radius=”1″ btn_font_family=”font_family:Open Sans|font_call:Open+Sans|variant:600″ btn_font_style=”font-weight:600;” btn_font_size=”desktop:20px;tablet:18px;tablet_portrait:18px;mobile_landscape:16px;mobile:16px;”][vc_column width=”1/2″][ult_buttons btn_title=”EMAIL US” btn_link=”url:%2Fcontact||” btn_align=”ubtn-center” btn_size=”ubtn-block” btn_title_color=”#ffffff” btn_bg_color=”#dd521c” btn_hover=”ubtn-fade-bg” btn_bg_color_hover=”#ffffff” btn_title_color_hover=”#df5104″ icon_size=”32″ btn_icon_pos=”ubtn-sep-icon-left” btn_border_style=”solid” btn_color_border=”#df5104″ btn_color_border_hover=”#df5104″ btn_border_size=”3″ btn_radius=”3″ btn_font_family=”font_family:Open Sans|font_call:Open+Sans|variant:600″ btn_font_style=”font-weight:600;” btn_font_size=”desktop:20px;tablet:18px;tablet_portrait:18px;mobile_landscape:16px;mobile:16px;”][vc_column width=”1/2″][ult_buttons btn_title=”FIND MORE INFORMATION” btn_link=”url:%2Fcontact||” btn_align=”ubtn-center” btn_size=”ubtn-block” btn_title_color=”#ffffff” btn_bg_color=”#dd521c” btn_hover=”ubtn-fade-bg” btn_bg_color_hover=”#ffffff” btn_title_color_hover=”#df5104″ icon_size=”32″ btn_icon_pos=”ubtn-sep-icon-left” btn_border_style=”solid” btn_color_border=”#df5104″ btn_color_border_hover=”#df5104″ btn_border_size=”3″ btn_radius=”1″ btn_font_family=”font_family:Open Sans|font_call:Open+Sans|variant:600″ btn_font_style=”font-weight:600;” btn_font_size=”desktop:18px;”][vc_column width=”1/2″][ult_buttons btn_title=”VERIFY MY INSURANCE” btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fjustbelieverecoverypa.com%2Fcontact-us%2Fcontact-just-believe-to-verify-your-insurance%2F|||” btn_align=”ubtn-center” btn_size=”ubtn-block” btn_title_color=”#ffffff” btn_bg_color=”#4dc7cc” btn_bg_color_hover=”#ffffff” btn_title_color_hover=”#df5104″ icon_size=”32″ btn_icon_pos=”ubtn-sep-icon-at-left” btn_border_style=”solid” btn_color_border=”#e1f0f2″ btn_border_size=”3″ btn_radius=”1″ btn_font_size=”desktop:18px;”]

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Let's Connect

🔒 Your information is safe & secure

Sidebar Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
What Does Acid Look Like? | Just Believe Recovery PA
Abused Substances

What Does Acid Look Like?

Acid is the popular street name for a substance known as LSD. It is one of the strongest, most popular hallucinogens of the past several

Read More »
What Does Klonopin Feel Like? | Just Believe Recovery
Pain Management

What Does Klonopin Feel Like?

Klonopin is a prescription drug used to treat seizure disorders. It is also known as clonazepam and is prescribed for a variety of seizure disorders,

Read More »