Over the course of the last three years, the state of Florida has removed children from parents addicted to opioids in more than 4,000 cases in our area.
Almost half of those cases were reported in Broward County.
“Right now, we have more children between birth and five in shelters and in group care than we’ve ever had and that may very well be a function of opioids,” said Larry Rein, the Executive Director of ChildNet.
The non-profit organization is contracted by the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide foster care services in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Rein says there are not enough foster parents to care for the children orphaned by drugs.
In Palm Beach County, there was a 42 percent increase in cases linked to drug abuse, from January to July - compared to the same period last year.
The Department of Children and Families do not track the cases by drug choice, but Rein says the increase can be linked to opioids.