There are more children in foster care
As the opioid epidemic has spread, so has the number of children placed in foster care as a result of their parents' drug usage.
According to data from the Administration for Children and Families, the number of adolescents in foster care in the United States was at a record high in September 2017. This is up 1.5 percent from 2016 and up 11.6 percent from 2012, when the number started to grow after more than a decade of decline.
In 2017, 15% of children were placed in foster care as a result of their parents' drug addiction, comparable to 15% in 2000. In 2016, foster care rates increased in five of the six states with the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths, with West Virginia having the highest rates of both.
In 2017, 40% of children under the age of 5 were placed in foster care as a result of their parents' drug usage, comparable to 40% in 2000. In comparison to 2000, these children were 9 percent more likely to be white and 14 percent more likely to be from the southern United States.