Report | June 27, 2018

Caring for Young Victims of the Opioid Crisis

Early care and education programs can support young children affected by their parents’ substance abuse

Young children are often-overlooked victims of the opioid crisis that is ravaging our nation. Parental substance abuse is an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) that imperils children’s citizen readiness–their ability to grow up healthy, well-educated and ready for productive lives. The opioid epidemic is also wreaking havoc on our communities, threatening public safety and national security, impacting workplaces, and tearing families apart.

We see firsthand the impact opioid abuse has on families. Investing in crucial prevention services is key to steering the next generation away from addiction and towards productive lives.

David Rausch, Director, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

High-quality early care and education programs, including home visiting, child care, Head Start, and preschool, provide a powerful approach to helping children impacted by the opioid crisis. By investing in these programs, we can help ensure these children are able to avoid crime, raise families of their own, and contribute to the workforce, including serving in the military if they choose.