Ohio launches $3.5M program to help children of opioid addicts

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. START will primarily be funded by a $3.5 million grant from the attorney general's office and will utilize child protective services, peer mentors, the courts and behavioral health and treatment providers to aid families in need. The funds are to be used across 14 counties over a period of two and a half years.

"Children with a parent or parents addicted to drugs tend to stay in foster care longer and they enter foster care having experienced significant trauma," said Mr. DeWine. "They may have witnessed a parent inject drugs, overdose, or even die. By creating this program, we hope to help these 14 counties give the silent victims of the opioid epidemic — the children — the best care possible, while also helping their parents recover from their addiction."

Half of children in Ohio placed in foster care in 2015 were placed because they had experienced abuse and neglect related to parental drug use.

More articles on opioids: 
Deadly opioids stolen from Alaska clinic 
Physicians weigh ethics of expensive surgery for opioid addicts 
Youth opioid use on the decline, studies show

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