Dramatic rise in children entering foster care due to parents’ drug use, study finds

There have been more foster care entries in the U.S. due to parents' drug use, a recent study found. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) – There’s been a large increase in foster care entries in the United States due to parental drug use, according to a study published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The study found that as the opioid crisis swept across the U.S. from 2000 to 2017, there was a 147-percent increase in foster care entries due to parents’ drug use.

Researchers found the percentage of home removals related to parental drug use increased from almost 15 percent in 2000 to 36 percent in 2017.

The increase related to parental drug use was most prominent in the last five years studied, 2012 to 2017, when there were surges in opioid use and overdoses.

The study didn’t specify what kind of drugs the parents used, so the results can’t be linked to any particular drugs.

Researchers looked at the number of foster care entries in the nationwide Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System for the study.

They noted that the study didn’t count the number of children, which is an important distinction because some children may have been entered in the database multiple times.

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