Children of the Opioid Epidemic
With an estimated 2.1 million Americans addicted to opioid use, experts say that a baby with neonatal abstinence syndrome—an opioid-withdrawal condition—is born in this country every 15 minutes. In this in-depth report, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan details the impact of opioid addiction on pregnant mothers and shares the personal stories and struggles of several women for whom becoming a parent was transformative. The article also explains how the epidemic intersects with the child welfare system. “Addiction is now widely recognized as a mental disorder, and the medical establishment and communities are more likely to treat people with drug dependency as victims of an illness,” Egan writes. “But this more generous spirit rarely extends to pregnant women in the grip of addiction, who are still widely seen as perpetrators.” Read the full article here.