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Opioid epidemic leaving more children in Alabama’s foster care system

December 21, 2019


>>IT’S BEEN DEVASTATING FOR ME. MARLEI: JUDITH STORY I ALABAMA’S LONGEST ACTIVE FOSTER PARENT.>>IT REALLY AFFECTS THE KIDS BECAUSE THE KIDS DON’T KNOW WHY THEIR PARENTS CAN’T GET THEM BACK. MARLEI: SO SHE’S SEEN FIRST-HAND THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF OPIOID ADDICTION ON A HOME.>>MOST OF THOSE KIDS ARE HAVING ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT PROBLEMS ADJUSTING TO LIFE. MARLEI: WHAT STORY IS SEEING HAS BECOME A STATE AND NATIONWIDE PROBLEM. ACCORDING TO THE U.S. HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, MORE KIDS ARE ENTERING THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM BECAUSE OF THE OPIOID CRISIS.>>IT IS A MAJOR ISSUE FOR US. MARLEI: WILLIAMS SAYS HERE IN ALABAMA, THERE’S BEEN A NEARLY 38% INCREASE IN FOSTER CHILDREN FROM 2015 TO 2016 DUE TO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ISSUES.>>WHEN YOU HAVE AN ADDICTION WITH OPIOIDS, IT IS VERY HARD TO KICK. AND OUR KIDS ARE TRAUMATIZED BY SEEING THEIR FAMILIES GO THROUGH THAT MARLEI: STORY SAYS SHE’S EVEN TAKEN CARE OF FOSTER KIDS WHOSE MOTHERS TOOK OPIOIDS WHILE PREGNANT. SHE SAYS THEY OFTEN SUFFER FROM DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES, NIGHTMARES AND BEDWETTING.>>WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS. CAN’T GET THEM TO FOCUS. IT’S JUST A SAD THING. MARLEI: BUT STORY SAYS THERE’S ONE THING SHE’S DISCOVERED THAT HELPS COMBAT OPIOIDS.>>IF YOU TELL THEM THAT YOU LOVE THEM EVERY DAY AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN, THEY MIGHT GROW UP TO DO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO, WITH THE HELP OF THE LORD. MARLEI: IN BIRMINGHAM, MARLEI

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