The Child Welfare Impact of the Opioid Epidemic

Increasing Health Care Access to Strengthen Families

June 2018

Children flourish in stable and supportive families. Unfortunately, the presence of substance misuse and substance use disorders can disrupt family life and render parents unable to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. In North Carolina, families statewide are feeling the impact of the nation’s opioid epidemic as parental substance dependence gives rise to a second crisis in the state – a rapid increase in the number of children entering foster care due to parental substance misuse. The high cost of health insurance often means that parents do not have access to the resources to successfully fight addiction and reunite their families.