Conference To Highlight Drug Abuse Epidemic Impact On Kids

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CINCINNATI (AP) – Doctors, nurses, social workers and addiction specialists are gathering to discuss the impact the country’s opiate epidemic is having on children.

Topics at Tuesday’s conference in Cincinnati range from babies born addicted to heroin to the strain on the social service system as thousands of children are taken from parents unable to care for them.

Organizers say the all-day conference at Xavier University is meant to help professionals who deal with the impact addiction has on families.

The Public Children Services Association of Ohio says the number of children taken into custody has risen 19 percent over the past seven years, largely due to parents’ painkiller and heroin addictions.

The group says placing the children of addicts in protective custody is costing taxpayers $45 million a year.