Steps were taken in the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, but significantly greater investments are needed. Medicaid is a lifeline for treatment opportunities for addiction and must be maintained. It is hypocritical to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency while trying relentlessly to slash the major lifeline for that emergency’s victims. All continuing attempts to end Medicaid as we know it must be fought back. The Final Report of the Commission on Combating Drug Abuse and the Opioid Crisis is scheduled to be submitted to the President on November 1st. While its charge is enormous, it must address the tragic plight of children and the special needs of pregnant women, parents, young and school-age children, and teens. Community-based prevention and treatment, including residential programs for parents and their children together, is essential. Criminal justice reforms also must recognize the special needs of parents and the importance and urgency of maintaining parent-child connections either at home or in kin or foster care settings. Too many children of parents struggling with opioids will start life with odds stacked against them. Their urgent needs must be met now.
Children And The Opioid Crisis – HuffPost