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Opiate Epidemic

The opiate epidemic has reached every corner of Ohio. State leaders have responded by expanding Medicaid, which makes treatment options available to more people struggling with addiction, as well as by limiting prescriptions and piloting evidence-based practices such as the Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS) program.

Opiate Epidemic

Children of parents addicted to opiates are flooding into the state’s child protection system. They are the invisible victims of the epidemic. A recent survey by PCSAO found that half of children taken into custody in 2015 had parental drug use identified at the time of removal, and 28 percent of children removed that year had parents who used opioids, including prescription opiates, heroin and fentanyl. That means nearly a third of children in custody are there because of the epidemic, and that number doesn’t count many children who continue to be served in their homes or who are placed with kin.

The epidemic is largely responsible for an 11 percent increase in children in custody in just the past six years. But during that same period, state funding for child protection declined by 21 percent. The impact on the system has been devastating:


Media Coverage

Ohio Newspaper Editorial Board Support

April 27 – Editorial: The Ohio House gets serious about the opioid epidemicThe Akron Beacon Journal
Children services agencies have faced a heavier burden, more children falling into their care
as parents die from overdoses or prove unfit because of their drug use. The House plan
recognizes the problem with an additional $30 million for the biennium.

April 23 – Editorial: Don’t abandon the childrenNewark Advocate
Kasich and members of the legislature have said the addiction menace is one of the most critical issues facing Ohio. They should prove it in their budget.

April 23 – Editorial: Partners in the opiate crisis, and how the state could helpThe Akron Beacon Journal
The Public Children Services Association of Ohio reports that in 2015 (the most recent
numbers available), 28 percent of children taken into custody had parents who were using
opiates at the time of removal. The likelihood is, last year was worse.

March 12 – Editorial: Children in harm’s way with the scourge of drugsThe Youngstown Vindicator
…we urge Gov. Kasich and the Republican majority in the Ohio General Assembly to loosen the state’s purse strings and provide the relatively small increase in funding to assist those who are providing a safe haven for the “invisible victims” of this deadly scourge.

March 3 – Editorial: Heroin epidemic straining children servicesThe Canton Repository
That’s why the PCSAO and other advocates for children services are right to call on state lawmakers to increase children services funding $30 million annually from the current level of about $45 million a year, and to create a subsidy for relatives who become caregivers. It’s a small amount compared to the overall two-year, $67 billion state budget Gov. John Kasich has proposed. Ohio has made significant strides in addressing the opioid epidemic. State lawmakers must do all they can to make sure its invisible victims aren’t so invisible anymore.

Feb. 17 – Editorial: Boost funding to an Ohio foster care system increasingly burdened by the opioid crisis: editorialThe Cleveland Plain Dealer
The state legislature must give counties the money and the resources to provide safe foster homes and to help county workers who are responsible for them. Make no mistake: The well-being of Ohio’s next generation will depend on how well adult Ohioans take care of heroin’s youngest victims.

Feb. 17 – Editorial: Will Ohio protect its children?The Akron Beacon Journal
Yet a truly urgent and comprehensive approach that includes a focus on children has been lacking. After years of decreased funding from the state, agencies such as Summit County Children Services have stretched as far as they can go to handle the fallout from the opiate crisis. Surely, the state can find $30 million to meet their request.

Feb. 13, 2017 – Editorial: more needed to fight overdosesThe Columbus Dispatch
Given these circumstances, Ohio legislators are right to question the governor’s budget. Ohio is in the grip of a plague that shows no signs of abating. Stronger efforts are needed to combat it.

Dec. 17, 2016 – Editorial: Opiate epidemic squeezes Children ServicesThe Akron Beacon Journal
If the state is serious about addressing effectively the opiate crisis, its leaders must include plans to step up with additional resources to help hard-pressed agencies such as the Children Services Board.

Columns and Opinion

May 27 – Jacque Ringer: Child protection agencies need support – Marion Star
It’s 1:30 in the morning and the phone rings. A female victim in the home has overdosed, unresponsive to emergency treatment. The officer says there are three unattended children in the home and in need of immediate care.

May 13 – Patty Harrelson: Children Services needs more support from state – Mansfield News Journal
Opioid abuse makes headlines frequently in north central Ohio, but it’s almost always involving adults abusing heroin or pills. Local children remain the most faceless and innocent of victims.

May 11 – Rep. Ryan Smith: Investments made to combat drug epidemic – Herald-Dispatch
The Ohio House is committed to fighting our state’s drug epidemic. We recently passed our plan to face this issue with bold reforms in the state’s operating budget. Our plan is not a piecemeal approach, but rather one that identifies and prioritizes areas of greatest need. This problem requires a holistic response, ranging from prevention to helping addicts re-enter the workforce free from substance abuse.

May 5 – Angela Sausser: Snowball Effect of Opioids on Ohio’s Child Welfare System – Chronicle of Social Change
Ohio’s child welfare system is in crisis, due chiefly to the opioid epidemic. The ability of child-serving agencies to provide essential services to vulnerable children – the innocent victims of this crisis – is at great risk.

April 13 – Rep. Ryan Smith: Fighting the Drug Epidemic is Top Priority for Ohio – Herald-Dispatch
The group that is most affected by this scourge is often the one that is most overlooked. Children who have witnessed or experienced the horrors of drug addiction are often left with trauma that stunts their development and leaves lifelong scars.

Feb. 25 – Robin Reese commentary: Funds needed for epidemic’s young victims – Toledo Blade
Too many Lucas County children have had to enter the care of relatives or foster parents because their birth families have been blinded by their substance dependency. The number of children in LCCS custody jumped 21 percent between 2011 and 2016. The number of children placed in the custody of a relative skyrocketed 40 percent in that same time, even as the proportion of available kinship caregivers had declined.

Jan. 13, 2017 – David W. Haverfield commentary: Addiction crisis is swamping children-services agencies – Columbus Dispatch
It’s the phone call no children-services worker wants to take.

Oct. 25, 2016 – Theodore Decker commentary: Ohio isn’t taking very good care of its kids – Columbus Dispatch
Since 2009, the number of children in agency custody statewide has increased by 19 percent, to nearly 14,000. Over roughly the same period, counties saw state funding drop by 17 percent, for a loss of about $93 million.

July 16 – Robin Reese commentary: Children are also victims of addiction – Toledo Blade
Lucas County, like many communities across the country, has been gripped by an epidemic of heroin, opiate, and fentanyl addiction. These powerful drugs have been destroying families and claiming lives at a record pace.

National/International News Coverage of Ohio

May 17 – ‘It’s just horrific’: caseworkers break their silence to reveal toll of addiction on children – The Guardian (UK)
Inside the Clinton County child protection office, the week has been tougher than most. Caseworkers in this thinly populated region of southern Ohio, east of Cincinnati, have grown battle-weary from an opioid epidemic that’s leaving behind a generation of traumatized children.

April 20 – How This State Is Helping Kids Whose Parents Get Addicted And Neglect Them – Daily Caller
The Public Children Services Association of Ohio is distributing the grants for each of the 18 counties enrolled. The four counties later added were …

April 6 – Chronic pain sufferers are scared by Ohio’s new opioid rulesNBC News
Chronic pain sufferers fear they could become casualties in the war on Ohio’s opioid overdose epidemic. They say recent moves by Gov. John Kasich to fight the plague by restricting how many painkillers can be prescribed will add to their anguish — and could force them to go underground to find the relief they need to make it through a day.

March 22 – Terrified Child heard Calling 911 as Parents Overdose While DrivingNBC News
A terrified 9-year-old girl called 911 from the back seat of an SUV and plead for help as her parents passed out in suspected overdoses.

March 16 – Drugs are killing so many people in Ohio that cold-storage trailers are being used as morgues – The Washington Post
By about 3 p.m. Friday, a county morgue in east Ohio was already full — and more bodies were expected. Rick Walters, an investigator for the Stark County coroner’s office, had just left for two death scenes: a suicide and an overdose.

Feb. 7 – Opioid overdose crisis plaques ClevelandCBS News
At his meeting with the sheriffs today, President Trump promised to help them “stop the opioid epidemic.” Every day, 91 Americans die from an overdose of opioids, which include prescription painkillers and heroin. In Cleveland, it’s a crisis.

Feb. 8 – Why opioid overdose deaths seem to happen in spurtsCNN
Drug deaths in America sometimes seem to come in groups; just look at Ohio. At least 14 people died of opioid overdoses in Cuyahoga County over the weekend, CNN affiliate WEWS reported.

Jan. 25 – Take back our cities from opioidsUSNews
The opioid epidemic in our cities increased at an alarming rate over the past year. Every day, 3,900 people initiate nonmedical use of prescription opioids for the first time, and these drugs have claimed the lives of our young and old; black and white; men and women; rich and poor. Iraq war veterans, highly educated professionals, even former drug counselors have also joined the fallen faces.

Jan. 16 – Young Victims of the Opioid Epidemic: Editorial – The New York Times
Opioid overdoses have claimed more than 300,000 lives in the last 15 years, including some 33,000 in 2015 alone. But those numbers do not tell the full horror of this epidemic, which has devastated the lives of countless children whose parents have succumbed to addiction to prescription painkillers and other opiates.

Jan. 15 – The children of the opioid crisis – The Wall Street Journal
The police officer who entered Mikaya Feucht’s Ohio apartment found it littered with trash, dirty dishes and plastic milk jugs full of the opioid addict’s vomit.

Jan. 12, 2017 – Unfinished business: Bipartisan help for child victims of the opioid crisis – The Hill
In the wake of the partisan 2016 election, there is an urgent need for the parties to start solving problems together again. Helping children whose futures are threatened by the opioid crisis is exactly such an opportunity.

Dec. 30, 2016 – An addiction crisis along ‘the backbone of America’ – Washington Post
The young woman sat on a city bench in Athens, Ohio, smoking a Marlboro. She told me her name is Keri, she’s 29, and she has a 10-year-old daughter and a history of drug addiction and mood disorders. She’d just been to a court hearing to get custody of her child. Bad as things are for her, they used to be worse, she said.

Dec. 15 – The Children of the Opioid Crisis – Wall Street Journal
Left behind by addict parents, tens of thousands of youngsters flood the nation’s foster-care system; grandparents become moms and dads again.

Nov. 28 – Opioids send Ohio foster care into costly overdrive – County News (National Association of Counties)
It happened twice in Ohio in September. You may have seen the photo, circulating virally online: a man and a woman, passed out in the front seat of an SUV, with the woman’s 4-year-old grandson in the back.

Nov. 3 – How drug addiction led to more grandparents raising grandchildrenPBS NewsHour
The number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren is going up and increasingly it’s because their own kids are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs, or have died from an overdose. For some, it’s a challenge with little help available.

Oct. 7 – These states are struggling with a drug addiction-fueled crisis in foster carePBS NewsHour
The nation’s drug-addiction epidemic is driving a dramatic increase in the number of children entering foster care, forcing many states to take urgent steps to care for neglected children.

State News Coverage

June 5 – Lawsuit reveals jaw-dropping stats about the opioid crisis – Vice News
The state of Ohio is suing five drug companies that manufacture prescription painkillers, alleging that they created a “human tragedy of epic proportion” by pushing misleading claims about the addictiveness of their products. 70 percent of infants placed in Ohio’s foster care system are children of parents with opioid addictions.

June 2 – 1-year-old Ohio boy hospitalized after opioid overdose – The Marion Star
Police say a 1-year-old Ohio boy had to be revived with Narcan after he overdosed on opioids. Police say the boy’s 9-year-old brother called 911 Thursday evening after he noticed the infant had stopped breathing.

May 28 – Drug crisis traumatizing children in Clark County, state – Springfield News-Sun
The deepening drug crisis in Clark County and Ohio threatens to leave thousands of traumatized children in its wake, local and state experts said. The Family and Children Services division of the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services has investigated at least 33 cases this year of children who were in danger because of an adult overdose.

May 19 – Opioid crisis straining children’s services in Ohio, Butler County – Hamilton Journal News
The opioid epidemic is overwhelming children’s services providers in both Butler County and Ohio as the public health crisis deepens throughout the state.

May 17 – Schiavoni Announces Legislation to Use Rainy Day Funds to Fight Opioid Epidemic – The Hannah Report
The state would dedicate 10 percent of its Rainy Day Fund to strengthen local governments and provide treatment infrastructure for groups working against the statewide opioid epidemic under new legislation announced Wednesday by Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman).

May 15 – More than 2,000 Cuyahoga children in foster care, highest since 2011, thanks to opioid crisis –
Half the Ohio children taken into protective custody in 2015 were removed from their homes because of a parental drug addiction, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

May 9 – Drug abuse sending more children into state custody – Dayton Daily News
The twin ravages of the Great Recession and a persistent opioid epidemic have led to an 11 percent increase in the number of children in state custody on any given day since 2010, costing the state millions more and leaving caseworkers overwhelmed, according to a new study released today.

May 8 – Opioid Crisis Sparks Urgent Need for Ohio Foster FamiliesWCSM
There are an estimated 1,400 more children in Ohio foster care compared to six years ago, and about 7,000 are in protective custody because their parents were using drugs, including opioids.

May 8 – Opioid Crisis Sparks Urgent Need for Ohio Foster Families – Public News Service
During this National Foster Care Month, there’s an urgent call for Ohioans to open their homes to care for children in need.

May 7 – Portage Children Services overwhelmed by opioids – Ravenna Record Courier
As the opioid and heroin epidemic sweeps across Ohio, local agencies like Portage County Job and Family Services are seeing a dramatic influx in …

May 3 – Juvenile Court project seeks to reunite children, parents – Wooster Daily Record
As a way to deal with the far-reaching drug and opiate epidemic, Wiles and her staff are establishing a Family Dependency Treatment Project. Wayne County Children Services workers are evaluating their cases to determine who might be potential candidates for the project, which is expected to be launched later this year.

May 2 – Miami Valley foster care feeling the effects of heroin epidemicWDTN
The heroin epidemic continues to grip the Miami Valley and that’s led to a boom in the amount of children entering the foster care system.

April 26 – How the state would use additional $171 million to fight drugs – The Columbus Dispatch
House Republicans want to double down on fighting Ohio’s opioid epidemic, pumping $170.6 million over the next two years into drug prevention and treatment.

April 17 – Report: More than 10K Ohio kids removed last year from parents abusing drugsWLWT Cincinnati
According the the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, 78 of the state’s 88 counties hand-counted the number of minors removed from the …

April 13 – Ohio in Crisis – The [Ohio University] Post
Special issue

April 10 – Drug abuse sends Licking foster care costs soaring – Newark Advocate
Licking County officials see no end to escalating foster care costs and no help coming from the state, creating a budget deficit that could approach $1 million by year’s end.

April 9 – Drugs driving children services caseload increase – Ashtabula Star-Beacon
The Ashtabula County Children Services Board received 2,660 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect in 2016. That number has been climbing steadily over the past decade, up from 1,736 reported cases in 2006.

April 7 – Heroin crisis leading to more kids in foster careWCMH
The Public Children Services Association Of Ohio said there are thousands of children needing foster homes in Ohio. State officials say the number of foster kids is on the rise due to the heroin problem.

April 7 – Children born to addiction face many challenges – Steubenville Herald-Star
Children born addicted to drugs face a childhood of challenges, said Cara Walter, a clinician at the mother-baby unit at Magee-Women’s Hospital.

April 6 – Children are ‘invisible victims’ in heroin battle – Fox 28
An 18 month old girl is recovering at Nationwide Children’s Hospital after Portsmouth police said they believe she suffered a heroin overdose.

April 6 – Children are “invisible victims” in heroin battle – Fox28 News
Across Ohio children of parents addicted to opiates are flooding into the state’s child protection system. Angela Sausser, Executive Director of the Children Services Association Ohio called them “invisible victims.”

April 6 – Ohio’s opioid epidemic addressed – The News Record
Ohio lawmakers get serious about tackling Ohio’s opiate epidemic by passing a law limiting opiate prescriptions by doctors, dentists and other licensed health professionals.

April 5 – Ohio START to help families – Fairborn Daily Herald
Children traumatized as a result of their parents’ drug abuse are often the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic. They may have gone days without food or adequate supervision. They may have been abused. And they may have witnessed a parent inject drugs, overdose, or even die.

April 4 – State of the State 2017: Kasich allocates $20 million for opioid crisisWCPO
Gov. John Kasich asked the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to invest $20 million dollars to come up with new ways to combat the state’s opioid epidemic at Tuesday night’s State of the State address.

April 3 – Need for foster families grows as Ohio’s heroin epidemic continues –
Those who have heard and read about heroin overdoses in Ohio may not have considered what happens to the children left behind when someone dies from a heroin-related problem.

April 1 – Program to help kids hurt by parents’ drug abuse – Star Beacon
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, 50 percent of the children placed in foster care in 2015 were there as a consequence of parental drug use. In the years since the opioid crisis erupted in Ohio, the number of children taken into agency custody has jumped 11 percent and their stays in foster care have lengthened by 19 percent.
Also: Need for foster families grows as Ohio’s heroin epidemic continues (Includes video).

March 31 – New rule limits narcotic painkiller prescriptions to seven days – The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio doctors, dentists and some nurses will be unable to prescribe more than seven days of narcotic pain killers — five days for minors — under rule changes announced today by Gov. John Kasich.

Mar. 31 – Kasich cracks down on opioid prescriptions with strict limit – Daily Caller
Ohio is being hit particularly hard by the national opioid epidemic, which claimed a record 33,000 lives in the U.S. in 2015. The opioid death rate in the state spiked 13 percent between 2014 and 2015, among the largest increases in the country. Heroin deaths increased by nearly 20 percent over the same period, claiming 1,444 lives.

Mar. 31 – Taking its toll: Drug abuse affects local families – The Marion Star
The heroin epidemic continues to take a devastating toll on families in Ohio. Unfortunately, in Marion County, as in other communities, children are sometimes forgotten in the midst of the crisis, unintended victims of neglect and abuse by parents or other family members addicted to illicit drugs.

Mar. 31 – Taking its toll: Drug abuse affects local families – The Marion Star
The heroin epidemic continues to take a devastating toll on families in Ohio. Unfortunately, in Marion County, as in other communities, children are sometimes forgotten in the midst of the crisis, unintended victims of neglect and abuse by parents or other family members addicted to illicit drugs.

Mar. 31 – Letter: State must attack opioid crisis – The Columbus Dispatch
The drug epidemic is an existential threat to our state. Opioid abuse has infiltrated our communities and has driven them to extreme lengths to combat this problem. Shockingly, several Ohio communities have been forced to rent mobile units to assist their local morgues with overpopulation issues.

Mar. 29 – Grandparents, caretaker relatives of opioid orphans pushing for more support from the state – The Columbus Dispatch
A group of Lorain County grandparents and other relatives forced to take over custody of children affected by the heroin epidemic in Ohio are pushing for increased support from the state.

Mar. 29 – Local woman organizes fifth march against child abuse – Newark Advocate
For a fifth year, Renee Steele has organized a local Million March Against Child Abuse event to help raise awareness about this issue, which she said is very personal to her.

Mar. 27 – Across Ohio, children are calling 911 to report overdoses – Dayton Daily News
The Dayton girl’s call is the latest episode of children begging Ohio dispatchers for help following an apparent overdose — a tragic, reoccurring phenomenon as the heroin and opioid crisis grips the state and the nation. In March alone, children in Centerville, Cincinnati and Cleveland dialed similar calls — at times with fatal news for authorities.

Mar. 27 – More Ohio newborns suffer from mother’s addiction – The Columbus Dispatch
The number of Ohio babies who come into the world sick and craving drugs continues to soar.
New state reports show that the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome — the medical term for withdrawal symptoms suffered by newborns — jumped to 159 per 10,000 live births in 2015.

Mar. 27 – New pilot program – Postsmouth Daily Times
Several southern and central Ohio counties stand to benefit from a new $3.5 million pilot program established by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The program is designed to serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse in more than a dozen southern Ohio counties, including Pike, Jackson, Athens, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Perry, Pickaway, Hocking, Ross and Vinton.

Mar. 24 – Ohio launches $3.5M program to help children of opioid addict – Becker’s Hospital Review
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the launch of a pilot program to help families damaged by parental opioid abuse on Wednesday. The START program — Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma — will provide families dealing with parental opioid abuse access to services like intensive trauma counseling for children and drug treatment for parents.

Mar. 24 – Rx to better help children harmed by opioid scourg – Youngstown Vindicator
Good news and bad news flowed directly out of Columbus this week about the war on opiate abuse and its destructive and anguishing impact on children and families.

Mar. 23 – Some of the youngest opioid victims are curious toddlers – The Associated Press
Curious toddlers find the drugs in a mother’s purse or accidentally dropped on the floor. Sometimes a parent fails to secure the child-resistant cap on a bottle of painkillers.

Mar. 23 – Perry County taking part in START ProgramWHIZ
Perry, Fairfield and Athens counties are among fourteen Ohio counties targeted for a new $3.6m program launched by Ohio’s Attorney General. Mike DeWine announced the START program Wednesday.

Mar. 23 – Drug addiction drives spike in Ohio foster care – The Newark Advocate
In the fight against opioid addiction in Ohio, children are the “innocent, invisible victims.” So said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Wednesday when he announced a pilot program that will help children abused or neglected due to their parents’ drug use.

Mar. 23 – Children Services Director speaks out on new opioid treatment initiative – Gallipolis Daily Tribune
Gallia County Children Services Director Russ Moore was asked to represent 14 southern Ohio counties as Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office unveiled a new test program Wednesday in Columbus seeking to help children who are harmed through their parents’ addiction to opioid substances.

Mar. 22 – 14 Ohio counties to receive $3.6M for child services programs strained by opioid epidemic –
Fourteen southern Ohio counties will receive $3.6 million to boost child welfare programs strained by the state’s opioid epidemic. The pilot program will cover trauma counseling, additional home visits and other victim services to families hurt by Ohio’s drug crisis over the next two and a half years. The program is primarily paid for with a $3.5 million grant from the state Victims of Crime Act fund.

Mar. 22 – Ohio attorney general program to help children of addicts – Huntington Herald Dispatch
Children hurt by their parents’ addictions to painkillers and heroin will get help under a pilot program announced Wednesday targeting 14 southern Ohio counties hit hard by the state’s opiate epidemic.
Mar. 22 – Kids of Ohio addicts focus of DeWine’s pilot program – Lancaster Eagle-Gazette
In the fight against opioid addiction in Ohio, children are the “innocent, invisible victims.”
So said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Wednesday when he announced a pilot program that will help children abused or neglected due to their parents’ drug use.

Mar. 22 – State money will help children victimized by drug crisis – The Columbus Dispatch
Public child-welfare agencies in more than a dozen southern Ohio counties overwhelmed by the state’s drug crisis are set to try a new intervention program that combines treatment for parents and specialized victim services for their children.

Mar. 22 – Franklin County hosts Opiate Crisis Summit to help tackle epidemic –
Shocking stats were read off at the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Summit on Wednesday. Two people die every day due to the opiate epidemic according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, and Ohio was listed 4th in the nation for highest deadly overdoses.

Mar. 22 – Pilot program helps families harmed by parental opioid abuse – Norwalk Reflector
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today the creation of a new pilot program that will serve families harmed by parental opioid abuse in more than a dozen southern Ohio counties.

Mar. 22 – Hamilton County commissioner requests almost $1.5 million to fight heroin epidemicWCPO
Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus testified this week before the Ohio House of Representatives Finance Committee, asking for the state to invest nearly $1.5 million to fight the county’s heroin epidemic.

Mar. 22 – Franklin County hosts Opiate Crisis Summit to help tackle epidemic –
Shocking stats were read off at the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Summit on Wednesday. Two people die every day due to the opiate epidemic according to the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, and Ohio was listed 4th in the nation for highest deadly overdoses.

Mar. 22 – Ohio attorney general program to help children of addicts – The Herald
Children hurt by their parents’ addictions to painkillers and heroin will get help under a pilot program announced Wednesday targeting 14 southern Ohio counties hit hard by the state’s opiate epidemic.

Mar. 21 – Panel discussion focuses on addiction and the family – Youngstown Vindicator
Paul Armitage, pastor of youth ministries at North-Mar Church, preceded Monday’s panel discussion on addiction and the family with a prayer in which he called drug addiction a “God-sized problem.”

Mar. 21 – Ohio County Records 82 Overdoses Over 2-Week Period –
Some Ohio can’t seem to catch a break. Trumbull County, in northeast Ohio, recorded 82 drug overdoses in just the first 15 days of March. Ten people died.

Mar. 21 – I Went to a Town Hall Meeting in a County Ravaged by Opioids. What I Saw Broke My Heart – Mother Jones
Two weeks ago, Brian Reed read on Facebook that there had been another overdose in his hometown of Warren, Ohio—this one in a supermarket parking lot. Police warned residents of the Rust Belt town to avoid the area. “Prayers to the family,” Reed wrote in the comments section of the article.

Mar. 20 – Opioid drugs claim children’s lives – Dayton Daily News
The opioid epidemic ravaging Ohio’s adult population has also claimed hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents as victims, based on a new study that found poison centers across the country receive an average of 32 calls a day about youths who have ingested prescription opioid drugs.

Mar. 15 – Ohio state children services funding ranks last in the
Ohio is dead last of all 50 states for state funding to public children services. Not only is Ohio in last place, but even if the funding was doubled, Ohio would still be last on the list.

Mar.14 – Heroin’s young victims: More children in foster care due to heroin epidemic (Includes video) – WKRC
More children are being removed from their homes in Ohio than ever before. There’s new evidence that Ohio’s heroin epidemic has a lot to do with it. Some people on the front line of child welfare want to know why the state isn’t putting more resources into helping those children.

Mar. 11 – State Tackles Opioid Epidemic – Community Common
Ohio is tackling the problem in a variety of ways that include tracking prescription pill purchases through a statewide database, advising doctors on proper dosage limits, initiating a youth drug prevention program, providing access to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral health treatment to participants in drug courts and other specialized dockets, and seeking solutions on a regional level.

Feb. 28 – Increase state child welfare spending, advocates urge –
Ohio’s county children services agencies need more state funding as they struggle to provide care for children of opioid-addicted parents, child welfare advocates say.

Feb. 28 – State custody emergencies triple in county; drug use linked – Star Beacon
Last year, Juvenile Court Judge Albert Camplese held three times as many emergency hearings in that court than in 2015 — many involving temporary child custody or placement motions on behalf of the county Children Services Board.

Feb. 22 – More foster parents, funding needed to battle heroin epidemicWCPO
For Fawn and Steve Kippenberg, it took losing their four children to the foster care system to open the couple’s eyes to the addiction they were battling.

Feb. 21 – Heroin epidemic having an impact on foster care system in Ohio –
The fallout from the heroin epidemic in Ohio is hurting more and more children. Attorney General Mike Dewine said it’s so bad, the foster care system is being overwhelmed.

Feb. 20 – State custody emergencies triple in county; drug use linked – The Star Beacon
Last year, Juvenile Court Judge Albert Camplese held three times as many emergency hearings in that court than in 2015 — many involving temporary child custody or placement motions on behalf of the county Children Services Board.

Feb. 15 – Heroin abuse causes heavy strain on foster care system (Includes video) – WLWT
Experts from child care agencies are seeing a heavier strain placed on Cincinnati-area foster care systems lately. There is mounting evidence that heroin abuse is causing much of that strain.

Feb. 15 – Greater Cincinnati heroin epidemic leaves scores of ‘silent victims’ in its wakeWCPO
In just a few weeks, Crystal Cook will achieve her most important goal: She will reclaim her children. Her six kids have been living with her mother for almost three years as Cook has struggled to beat her addiction to heroin.

Feb. 15 – The child service workers picking up the pieces of Ohio’s opioid crisisWOSU Radio
Jennifer Mills drives down a long open road, flanked by fields of yellow grass, clouds overhanging. As a child services caseworker, Mills says on most days she will drive from one end of Ross County to the other, filing paperwork at the local courthouse and to check in on her clients.

Feb. 13 – Groups speak out for silent victims of Ohio’s opioid Crisis – Public News Service
Ohio has still not escaped the clutches of the opioid epidemic and some groups say its youngest victims often are forgotten. According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), nearly half of children taken into the care of social service agencies in 2015 had parents struggling with addiction, and about 1 in 4 had parents abusing opioids or heroin.

Feb. 10 – Children services agencies say no additional funding in budget for kids hurt by opioid crisisWOSU Radio
In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20%, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them.

Feb. 9 – Ohio’s children services agencies point to opioid epidemic, Say Kasich’s Budget Falls ShortWKSU
In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20 percent, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them.

Feb. 8 – As Ohio’s opioid epidemic increases, proposed state budget keeps child protective services last in funding – News-Herald
In Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2018-19 budget the funding would remain flat, which would leave the seventh most populous state 50th in the nation in state-level funding for child protective services.

Feb. 8 – Dem, GOP lawmakers want budget to do more to handle drug epidemic – The Columbus Dispatch
Lawmakers in both parties pressed Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid and health directors today about why the budget does not do more to deal with the state’s drug epidemic.

Feb. 1 – It’s due to opiate epidemic – The Times-Gazette
There are currently 103 children in the Highland County foster care system, and 27 children in permanent custody of Highland County Children’s Services awaiting adoption – record-high numbers, according to Job and Family Services Director Katie Adams, who attributes the problem almost entirely to Highland County’s drug problem.

Jan. 23 – How Children Become Involved in the Ohio Opiate CrisisWKSU News
Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths, with an average of eight people dying each day last year. And thousands more are addicted, and in many cases, those addicts have families.

Jan. 19 – Children Services Agencies Say Kids, Social Workers Are Suffering In Opioid Epidemic – The Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths, with an average of eight people dying each day last year. And thousands more are addicted, and in many cases, those addicts have families. On this week’s “The State of Ohio,” two children services directors share stories from the front lines of this crisis.

Jan. 18 – Opioid Crisis and Children ServicesWOSU Radio
As the opioid crisis has spread across Ohio, children are often overlooked when parents become addicted.

Jan. 15 – Heroin babies are massing on America’s horizon – Phillip Morris, The Plain Dealer
The New York Times published a story last March about a historic church in Massachusetts that reluctantly closed its bathrooms to the public after several heroin addicts overdosed in the building’s restrooms.

Jan. 13 – Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip – Dayton Daily News
An average of seven Montgomery County residents a day were treated for drug overdoses by emergency departments in 2016, and one person alone made eight trips to the ER. Eleven people were treated twice in the same day for overdoses.

Jan. 10, 2017 – How the opiate epidemic is taking a toll on Summit County Children Services –
Thanks in part to the heroin epidemic, Summit County Children Services last year saw a nearly 50-percent jump in new custody cases.

Dec. 18, 2016 – Children Services sees rise in drug-related foster cases – Athens Messenger
As Athens County and the rest of Ohio work to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing the state, children are not immune to its lasting effects.

Dec. 13 – Heroin not only reason behind big increase in child abuse cases – Cincinnati Enquirer
Magistrate Brenda Anthony is on after-hours phone duty this month in Hamilton County Juvenile Court. And she’s holding her breath.

Dec. 12 – Athens Children Services Sees Rise in Drug-Related Foster CasesWOUB
As Athens County and the rest of the state of Ohio work to combat the … Hill says Athens County Children Services is getting younger children in care …

Nov. 16 – Drug addicted parents: Caring for their suffering
While many children who become the victims of their drug addicted parents will end up in foster care, many are placed with other family members.

Nov. 10 – Growing opioid epidemic results in more grandparents raising their children’s childrenNKYTribune
An increasing number of grandparents are raising their grandchildren, largely because many of the children’s parents are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs, both increasing problems in rural areas.

Nov. 9 – A drug baby – Cleveland Jewish News
My patient is a “drug baby.” His mother is addicted to opiates, and today’s visit is part of the MOMS Project, an innovative program that cares for drug-addicted moms and their babies throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Nov. 7 – Mental health and substance use services: meeting kids where they are – Public News Service
Research indicates mental-health conditions can make kids more prone to use alcohol or drugs. As schools around Ohio work to educate students about the dangers of substance use, one district is also providing mental health services to kids.

Nov. 4 – Children, the innocent victims of the opioid epidemic in NW OhioWTVG
The number of children in foster care as a direct result of the opioid and heroin epidemic continues to grow. This is a problem that is overloading children’s services throughout all of Northwest Ohio.

Nov. 4 – Opiate crisis leads to spike in Trumbull County adoptionsWKBN
Tim Schaffner, executive director of Trumbull County Children Services, said the heroin and prescription drug epidemic are behind many kids landing in the foster care system. “We’re in such a crisis with the opiates.”

Nov. 3 – Heroin epidemic increasing need for foster, adoptive parents – West Side Leader
With November being celebrated as National Adoption Month, Summit County Children Services (SCCS) is focusing on the increasing need for foster parents and those willing to adopt.

Nov. 2 – Cincinnati conference highlights drug abuse epidemic’s effects on kids –
The country’s addictions epidemic has created a generation of children affected by their parents’ problems, a doctor who works with infants born addicted to heroin told a gathering of experts struggling with the issue Tuesday.

Oct. 30 – Butler Co. organization seeing spike in heroin-related child neglect cases (Includes video) – Fox 19
Advocates in Butler County said they’re dealing with a huge spike in child abuse and neglect cases related to drugs. Now, they’re desperately working to help the children. “I’ve had children 3, 4, 5 and 6 that can tell me how to use drugs,” CASA Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Owens said.

Oct. 27 – Heroin hitting kids: how the epidemic is changing child welfare (Includes video) – WRGT
The state calls them silent victims. More and more kids and being taken from drug-addicted families, and there’s a record number of kids in Ohio state custody right now. Foster families are virtually impossible to find.

Oct. 27 – Local woman building recovery center for drug-addicted newborns (Includes video) – WRGT
Resources for this unbelievable problem are almost non-existent. Brigid’s Path, an opiate recovery and rehab center, was created out of necessity.

Oct. 25 – Funding for Child Protective Services is lowest in the nation – News 5 Cleveland
Ohio has some of the lowest funding for child protective services in the United States. Funding dropped off during the recession and never bounced back. The repercussions of this state’s heroin epidemic are being seen in courtrooms, “Those of us that have this docket are finding that we’re being overwhelmed and it is getting harder and harder to get the cases in in a timely fashion,” said Nancy McMillen, a Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Magistrate.

Oct. 24 – AG: Heroin epidemic unlike any other – Fairborn Daily Herald
“This opiate epidemic is unlike any drug epidemic I’ve ever seen,” he said Friday before speaking at a faith leaders conference at Cedarville University. “It goes across every demographic. From teenagers to 60- and 70-year-olds. Income doesn’t matter. Race doesn’t matter. Sex doesn’t matter. We’re losing eight to 10 people a day in Ohio.” The cost of foster care in Ohio is even on the rise because of the increase in orphaned children.

Oct. 23 – Rural counties struggle to help kids amid drug crisis – Columbus Dispatch
Ohio’s county-run system of child-protective services has long been a tale of haves and have-nots, with property-rich counties such as Franklin able to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue to support a broad array of services. Small, rural counties such as Gallia, where property values are relatively low, poverty rates high and levies a tough sell, struggle under the local-funding model.

Oct. 17 – Report: Scioto County leads Ohio in drug-addicted births – Columbus Dispatch
A recent report from the Children’s Defense Fund has found that Scioto County in southern Ohio has the highest birth rate of drug-addicted babies in the state.

Oct. 13 – Number of children in foster care in Athens County expected to continue to rise this year – The Post
In 2015, Athens County Children Services had 146 children in their custody – a 7 percent increase from 2014. 2015 Annual Report.

Oct. 13 – Ohio leads first-of-Its-kind regional task force against raging foe: The opioid epidemic – Akron Legal News
The crisis arrived swiftly and with overpowering potency, leaving the patient stunned, uncertain how to escape the drug-induced fog. The patient is America and the problem is the opioid epidemic that claims hundreds of new victims everyday.

Oct. 12 – Community forum brings hundreds to discuss heroin in central Ohio – Columbus Dispatch
Her body craved the addictive, deadly drug so much that it controlled her every move… No matter how many times Vanessa Perkins promised herself that she would stop shooting heroin, she continued to do anything — including sell her body for money — to get it.

Sept. 20 – Heroin epidemic leaves growing number of kids without parents – 33 WYTV
Trumbull County Children Services says the number of kids in need of someone to take care of them is rapidly growing as the heroin epidemic worsens.

Sept. 20 – Heroin epidemic forcing more kids into foster care, state funding falling short –
Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) are calling children of addicts the “invisible victims” of the epidemic. According to PCSAO, there …

Sept. 20 – More Ohio kids in foster care amid opioid epidemic – Associated Press
Child welfare advocates in Ohio say children have become the “invisible victims” of the opioid crisis, as more kids are put into foster care and funding for children services agencies falls short.

Sept. 19 – Parents’ heroin addictions put too many kids in foster care – Columbus Dispatch
The family homestead is remote, its long, dirt-and-gravel driveway cutting deep into the Appalachian countryside. Suzanne Valle hangs a sign on the mailbox because first-time visitors often miss the turn.

Sept. 13 – Ohio police defend their decision to show parents passed out in car from heroin overdose – Inquisitr
The Ohio city that shared graphic photos of a couple passed out in their car from a heroin overdose while the four-year-old child sits in the back seat are defending their position to show the disturbing photos following a small but vocal backlash.

Aug. 31 – Drug cases often leave kids in foster care – Mansfield News Journal
Jason Kline doesn’t feel too far removed from the parents and the children he works with as a foster care specialist at Richland County Children Services.

June 28 – Counties struggle to find funds for child welfare services during heroin epidemic – 10TV
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), 13,579 children are currently in the custody of the state. It’s a nine percent …

June 2 – Legislation would provide babies addicted to opioids with more resourcesWKBN
Legislation that would better fund care for babies born addicted to drugs could be making its way to Ohio. Last week, Senator Sherrod Brown, alongside representatives from West Virginia and Maine, announced the Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act.

June 2016 – Eight-part Series on Opioid Crisis –
The series features insights from key officials on the front lines trying to mitigate the scourge for their ideas on how best to stop, contain or moderate it.