The Generational Harm of Opioids

troubled young male

The Unseen Victims: Exploring the Impact of Opioid Addiction on Children

Examining the Profound Consequences of Parental Drug Use on the Next Generation

Much has been written here and elsewhere about the toll opioids have taken on those trapped by addiction…

More than 760,000 dead.  Millions fighting to regain lives free of drugs.

What’s often not discussed is the toll opioids take on the children of those addicted.

Generation O: Trapped in Cycles of Neglect and Abuse

Two decades into the crisis, the impact on a generation of children trapped in an endless cycle of parental drug use, overdoses, hospitalizations, and, in some cases, jail is being examined.  This group of kids has even received the nickname – Generation O.

The picture emerging on this generation shows children – now, in some cases, young adults – who have been profoundly and negatively impacted by seemingly endless cycles of abuse and neglect.

Schools as Sanctuaries: Coping with Abuse in Educational Spaces

For years, schools across the country have reported a significant rise in the number of students born addicted to opioids or victims of abuse from a parent addicted to opioids. These youngsters present with significant mental and emotional problems – including severe learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, and more. 

School administrators also find that some children from households with addicted parents often arrive at school as early as possible and stay till the last person leaves to avoid abuse at home.

It’s all very sad – but also inescapably real for these children.

Profit vs. Safety: The Dark Legacy of Pharmaceutical Marketing

And this is what happens when drug companies seek profit over patient safety.  Drugs known to be unsafe have been sold under false pretenses.

And a generation of kids has had to pay the price.

Even with all this information, an enduring question remains… 

A Call for Reflection: Medicine’s Responsibility in Healing the Nation

How and why did so many U.S. physicians fall for the marketing claims of Purdue Pharma and others – particularly when the evidence of harm became so inescapable?

That is a question the AMA and others in medicine must consider very long and hard.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Addiction Recovery Specialists to learn more.