New UHF Report Takes In-Depth Look at Hidden Impact of Opioid Epidemic on Children
United Hospital Fund has issued the first comprehensive look at the impact of opioid use on children and adolescents whose parents or close family members are addicted. The report makes clear that the magnitude of the problem is much greater than realized — if the opioid epidemic were stopped cold today, damaging ripples would still reach children far into the future.
The Ripple Effect: The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children and Families looks at the successive waves of loss and trauma experienced by newborns, young children, adolescents, and their families. It also looks at the needs of kinship caregivers, typically grandparents who often step in to care for these children, and children who themselves become caregivers for younger siblings or other family members.
The report is co-authored by Carol Levine, director of UHF’s Families and Health Care Project, and Suzanne Brundage, director of UHF’s Children’s Health Initiative and Patricia S. Levinson Fellow, with the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and in collaboration with the Milbank Memorial Fund. It lays out a blueprint for action aimed at public and private agencies and professionals.
The full report can be downloaded from UHF’s website here.