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Reframing the Opioid Epidemic: Lawmakers Must Put Children First

Child Abuse & Neglect

Youth Today

By Rricha Mathur


In recent months, much attention has been drawn to the substance abuse and opioid crisis in the United States, and rightfully so. The U.S. consumes more opioids — both pharmaceutical and from illegal substances such as heroin — than any other country.

In Congress, the Senate recently held a hearing to discuss policy to address the epidemic, Examining the Opioid Epidemic: Challenges and Opportunities, and recently passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). Among other provisions included in CARA, the bill would help young people with addiction gain access to treatment and create a pilot program to improve treatment for pregnant and postpartum women.

What’s not included in CARA is a meaningful way to ensure the safety of children living in households where substance abuse is present.

Parental substance and opioid abuse have long been …

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