The opioid crisis has been growing rapidly over the past few years with no signs of slowing. It is something we all hear about often and some have even been personally touched by. However, we do not hear much of anything about the effects of the crisis on the family structure, particularly as it pertains to grandparents that are left to raise grandchildren. The numbers are staggering, with the Huffington Post reporting 2.6 million grandparents across the nation raising their children’s children temporarily or permanently due to substance abuse, treatment and recovery, or even death.

In an investigative interview led by CBS News, journalists interviewed some of the grandparents and grandchildren affected and learned more about the trend. Their findings indicated that children left in the care of grandparents or other close relatives were more likely to feel loved and exhibit fewer behavioral problems and better mental health, but those better outcomes were in turn taxing on the older adults that didn’t feel as though they had a choice. The issues are compounded by the fact that many grandparents raising grandchildren have to delay or come out of retirement to provide adequate care and are often forced to dip into their savings accounts to meet the need. Additionally, the Huffington Post writes that one in five of these grandparents lives below the poverty line and one in four has a disability.

Grandparents raising grandchildren has become so pervasive and such a hot button issue that legislators around the country banded together to propose action. According to Forbes, The Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act was recently signed into law to create an avenue for agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services to support these older adults through information sharing and other resources. The law is being applauded by numerous advocacy groups, many of which have been trying to draw attention to the problem for years. It does not solve the burden of grandparents raising grandchildren, but it is a start.

GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDCHILDREN: A CONSEQUENCE OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

For a parent suffering with addiction, the choice can often either be leaving the child in the care of a family member during treatment or involving the foster care system. At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult it is for a parent to make decisions that affect their child, especially when those decisions might lead to family separation. You do not have to shoulder this load alone. Your family can be whole again and we can help.

Your time at Asana Recovery will be just that: your time. From detox to aftercare, the clinical team keeps you as the central focus, meeting you where you are each day. Whether this is your first time seeking treatment or not, we will provide the individualized treatment you need. With the help of our caring and positive staff, you will be able to develop tools to achieve your goals. If you are ready to move your recovery forward, call us today at (949) 438-4504 to speak to one of our dedicated professionals. Your family will thank you.