Is U.S. Opioid Crisis Straining State Child Welfare Systems?

While a national opioid crisis rages, the number of child welfare cases surges natinoally. Is this more than a coincidence?

“Both things are true, that we are seeing a spike in opioid use disorders and we’re seeing an increase in foster care placements,” said Sharon Amatetti, MPH, a chief at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “But we can’t say that one is directly causing the other.”

Teen Stress and the Growing Brain

Anyone who works with adolescents knows what recent science has confirmed: Teenagers just don’t think like adults. In fact, researchers have known for awhile now that the teenage brain is wired differently; it remains under construction during adolescence and won’t develop completely until a person’s early 20s. That explains a lot about the often-bewildering actions of tweens and teens as they seek out novelty and test limits, often without regard to risk.