Officials: Problem of Childhood Exposure to Drug Use is Growing

By Staff Writer

Heroin addiction is a growing problem in many parts of the country. Law enforcement officials are saying that the situation can destroy families and seriously impact the lives of children when parents do not seek substance abuse treatment.

In fact, Child Protective Services departments in the Midwest are calling for more foster parents, as the number of children who are born to heroin addicted mothers is skyrocketing, according to local NBC affiliate WLWT.

“Just about every week, we are called about another child born to a heroin-addicted mother,” said Susan Grabowski, an intake supervisor with one county’s department, quoted by the news source. “Our caseworkers are finding that the heroin abuse situation is not only impacting the parents of these children; in many cases the grandparents are also addicted.”

She added that, if the addiction problem is not solved in the near future, her department could soon have more than 600 children in its custody.

A total of 13 percent of American children under the age of 18 live in a household where a parent or other adult uses illicit drugs, according to researchers from Columbia University.