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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Early Intervention Family Drug Court

substance abuse
Drug and alcohol abuse, verily, can ruin people's lives if left untreated. The disease of addiction is a progressive mental health disorder that has long been a crisis in the United States. The nation has faced a number of serious problems stemming from drug and alcohol abuse in the 20th Century, some of which were considered to be of epidemic proportions. But certainly, the opioid use disorder epidemic of the 21st Century is unprecedented, with over two million Americans addicted to an opioid narcotic of some kind.

While opioid addiction is insidious, and carries the potential for early death among abusers, it has also torn hundreds of thousands of children away from their parents. In an attempt to curb the exponential rise in children being remanded to foster care services because of their parents' addiction, some states are offering parents treatment before their child is removed from the household.

In California, the Early Intervention Family Drug Court (EIFDC) is helping parents with substance use disorders, by offering treatment before their children are taken away, NPR reports. If parents fail a drug test, formal family drug court is the next stop, and their children become a temporary ward of the state.

The need for EIFDC-type programs is dyer, considering the fact that around 265,000 kids entered foster care in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau. Up to 80 percent of child removal cases are linked to substance abuse, much of which has been linked to opioids. Family drug courts can help families stay together by breaking the cycle of parental addiction.

"People can overcome addiction if the motivation is strong enough, and this is the most effective motivation I have ever seen," said Sherri Z. Heller, director of Sacramento's Health and Human Services Department.

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