It’s easy to see the correlation between addiction and broken families. It’s a situation that’s been playing out for decades and has only increased as opioids become more and more of a threat to a wider scope of Americans. Amazingly enough, the number of American children in foster care decreased significantly between 2005-2012. Recently, however, we’ve seen this correlation reemerge. New figures from the United States Department of Health and Human Services reveals that there were 427,910 children in the foster care system as of September 30, 2015, up from about 414,429 a year earlier. The peak was 524,000 children in foster care in 2002, and the number had dropped steadily to about 397,000 in 2012 before rising again.
The report also reveals that the foster care population increased in nearly 75 percent of American states in 2015. Officials from Health and Human Services have stated that parental substance abuse was cited as a factor in 32.2 percent of the 2015 cases in which a child was removed from home up from 28.5 percent in 2012. Interviews with states impacted the most by this problem revealed opioid and methamphetamines as a major source of substance abuse-related dysfunction. Of the children in foster care a year ago, 52 percent were boys. Twenty-one percent were Hispanic, 24 percent black and 43 percent white. Just under 103,000 of them were available for adoption.
This report reaffirms the significant devastation that addiction inflicts not only on sufferers themselves but also families that it touches. For practically every one person who suffers from addiction, there is an entire group of people that suffers right alongside them. This is why it’s important that families are an integral part of the treatment and recovery processes and acquaint themselves with their roles in their loved ones’ ongoing sobriety.