As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll across America, Pennsylvania appears to be one of the most severely affected areas on the map. As a result, countless grandparents in the state have welcomed their children’s children with open arms. Although this step is certainly an honorable one, it is not always easy.
When parents in the state become incapable of raising children as a result of drug dependence, grandparents have all too often come to the rescue. As discussed in detail by HealthLine, the opioid crisis has created a shift in family dynamics across the nation; grandparents now make up the head of many households. Even though a grandchild can bring much joy to life, many grandparents have had to abandon dreams of retirement, instead turning to full-time parenthood once again. In 2014 alone, over 40 percent of children who were in foster care with relatives were there because of a parent’s addiction to opioids or other type of substance. HealthLine also shares that roughly 2.6 American children have grandparents or other family members as primary caregivers.
Inside Edition is one of many other news outlets that has reported on the ongoing opioid epidemic and the effects it has had on the nation’s children. Oftentimes, addicted parents lose custody battles or realize that their children are better off in another family member’s care. Not only can the taking on of young children flip one’s life upside down; Inside Edition also comments on the difficulties of raising a child in one’s older years. Not to mention, the emotional toll of struggling with a drug-addicted child — only to raise that child’s own children — can affect a person in a number of ways. The vicious opioid crisis may continue to weather on and claim the lives of countless citizens, but the nation’s children have become another recent point of concern.