In the epidemic of prescription opioid addiction, there are the direct victims—the addicts themselves—and then there are those caught up in the trauma of addiction without ever taking a pill: the families and children of prescription painkiller abusers.
To understand just how deeply the opioid tragedy touches families, take a look at the numbers:
- 32%: The percentage of the 429,000 children placed in foster care as a result of parental substance abuse.
- 24.6 million: The number of marriages in the U.S. in which one member has a substance addiction problem.
- 3.5 million: The number of American women who use prescription opioids for nonmedical reasons.
- 919,400: How many people between the ages of 25 and 54 were “absent from the workforce” because of opioid drug dependence.
- Five-fold: The increase in the number of pregnant women using narcotic painkillers between the years 2000 and 2009
The High Financial and Emotional Cost of the Opioid Crisis
Add it all up, and you get a clearer picture of how opioid painkiller addiction can break up marriages and cause financial and social instability.
For families, and children in particular, the cost of the opioid crisis is immense. According to one study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
“The family remains the primary source of attachment, nurturing, and socialization for humans in our current society. Therefore, the impact of substance use disorders (SUDs) on the family and individual family members merits attention. Each family and each family member is uniquely affected by the individual using substances including but not limited to having unmet developmental needs, impaired attachment, economic hardship, legal problems, emotional distress, and sometimes violence being perpetrated against him or her. For children there is also an increased risk of developing an SUD themselves.”
While there is no single solution to the problem, manufacturers of potent and dangerous opioid prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Percodan and fentanyl should be held accountable for the families they have destroyed and lives they have ruined.
If you are a grandparent, parent, or spouse of a prescription drug addict and need help, the SAMSHA website has a free and confidential online support group locator. Nar-Anon is another resource designed for families of addicts and has meetings nationwide.
Compassionate California Medical Malpractice Attorneys Advocating for Victims of the Opioid Epidemic
The Bertling Law Group fights to hold the pharmaceutical industry and irresponsible healthcare providers accountable for the damage done to veterans suffering from opioid addiction and overdose. Contact us today at 844-295-7558 to schedule a free consultation.