Report | September 5, 2018

Caring for Young Victims of the Opioid Crisis in Ohio

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

Young children are often-overlooked victims of the opioid crisis that is ravaging our state. 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 wreaking havoc on our communities, threatening our public safety, impacting workplaces, and tearing families apart, while costing our state seven billion dollars in treatment, health, and criminal justice costs.

Law enforcement sees firsthand the impact opioid abuse has on families. Investing in early childhood prevention programs will help the children most affected today and break the cycle of addiction and crime.

Sheriff Russell Martin, Deleware County, OH

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. Ohio Head Start’s Therapeutic Interagency Preschool program is one such approach that provides children with on-site therapies and intensive trauma-focused interventions. 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.


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