How Heroin Epidemic is Affecting Foster Care System in Arlington Heights

A heroin epidemic has hit the greater Chicago area, and this has very intensively affected the foster care system of the area as many parents, mostly young parents, are no longer able to take care of their kids.  This has been a very serious issue in Arlington Heights specifically.  Multiple foster care organizations receive all kinds of reports of child abuse and neglect that end up causing more and more kids to have to go into some kind of foster care.  Perhaps a child has a broken bone, or is underfed, or has been left home alone for too long.  One way or the other, as soon as the state gets wind of this, the child is scooped up and put into foster care.

The grim and saddening result has been the obvious.  Now there is a burgeoning foster care system that is stuffed to the gills with children that have parents but who have parents that simply cannot take care of them at all. If you know someone who is in a similar situation and cannot take care of their children anymore due to alcoholism taking over their lives then they can be referred to a drug rehab referral service where they can figure out during the recovery of the drug addict, what can happen to the children in the mean time so eventually their parent can be there for them. Heroin is the widely used drug in Chicago, Illinois therefore any rehab from the drug rehab Chicago to the drug rehab Arlington Heights are all specialists on how to cure an individual’s addiction to particularly heroin.

Heroin Epidemic

It is always the same situation.  In Arlington Heights, when caseworkers drive to the child’s home to investigate, they almost, almost, almost always discover the same root cause in their visit.  “What we’re finding more and more is that the parents are addicted to opiates. And more often than not, it’s heroin,” said one foster care representative.  Sure enough, there is a heroin epidemic that has hit hard in Arlington Heights and in the greater Chicago area, and the problem has been the most severe amongst eighteen to thirty-year olds, many of whom are parents to very young children.

Addiction and Foster Care

In Ohio and other states ravaged by the latest drug epidemic, officials say substance abuse by parents is a major reason for the growing number of children in foster care.  This is the grim truth!  Substance abuse on the part of the parents is the number one reason for the growing number of children in the foster care system.  For example, in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati, more than half the children placed in foster care this year have parents who are addicted to opiates.  Now the same thing is happening in Arlington Heights and the greater Chicago area.

The number of children living in foster care started rising in 2013 after years of decline.  Last year, about 415,000 children were living in foster care, according to federal statistics released last week.  Fifteen percent of them hadn’t yet passed their second birthday.  The majority of such children are there because their parents are drug or alcohol addicts.  This has to be stopped, and if enough awareness is raised on the issue in Arlington Heights, then hopefully the parents will be gotten to and informed on this before they even start abusing drugs and alcohol.

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