Calling Attention to Opioid-Affected Families and Children
Original Blog Date: July 13, 2016
Fresh proposals to respond to rising opioid use/addiction/deaths arrive daily, but are striking in their collective silence on the needs of affected others—parents,
siblings, intimate partners, children, extended family members, and social network members. Neglect of affected families has deep historical roots within the history of addiction treatment and recovery. Historically, family members were more likely
to be viewed by addiction professionals as causative agents of addiction or hostile interlopers in the treatment process than people in need of recovery support services in their own right. Overcoming such attitudes has taken on added urgency due to the rising
prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of opioid addiction in the United States and its rippling effects upon families and communities. In this brief communication, we offer some reflections on this issue and how we might use the current social crisis to forge
a new chapter in the nation’s response to addiction-affected families and children.