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It's Easy to Forget the Opioid Epidemic's Youngest Victims

Tens of thousands of people have been swept up in the peril of the opioid crisis – one of the greatest public health crises the nation has ever faced.

We must now focus resources on the crisis’ youngest and most vulnerable victims: children and families.

Children of addicted parents are at greatly increased risk of Adverse Childhood Experiences. These children have a higher likelihood of taking part in alcohol and illicit drug use, and experiencing poor physical and mental health outcomes.

We can fight the crisis by supporting programs and policies that help mitigate the dire consequences of drug misuse and abuse on children and families. High-quality early care and education programs, as well as evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, can serve as a powerful methods to help families live drug-free, productive lives.