Author: Suzanne C. Brundage, Adam Fifield, Lee Partridge
The press release can be found here.
The nation’s opioid epidemic placed an estimated 2.2 million children and adolescents in crisis as of 2017—28 out of every 1,000—according to a chartbook produced by United Hospital Fund (UHF) and Boston Consulting Group. The Ripple Effect: National and State Estimates of the U.S. Opioid Epidemic’s Impact on Children maps out the impact on children in each state in 2017, revealing a wide variation. If current trends continue, the number of children affected nationwide by opioid use will rise to an estimated 4.3 million by 2030, and the cumulative lifetime cost will reach $400 billion in additional spending on health care, special education, child welfare, and criminal justice.
The chartbook also lists 10 priority strategies that can help children affected by opioids, including investing in evidence-based programs for youth development; increasing the availability of family-based mental health services; expanding treatment and recovery programs for adolescents; and supporting foster and kinship caregivers. This publication follows a March 2019 UHF report, The Ripple Effect: The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children and Families, which examined the successive waves of loss and trauma experienced by newborns, young children, and adolescents affected by opioid use disorder.