In Vermont, Addiction Increases Child Abuse, Neglect Cases

Like many states across the US, Vermont is battling an increase in opiate addiction that is wreaking havoc in families in communities across the state, and research has shown that it comes at a high price for children. According to VTDigger, Vermont courts have seen a 62% increase in the number of cases of childhood abuse and neglect, and the cases are on the rise as more people in the state fall victim to the disease of addiction. Opiate addiction is a “big piece of the neglect problem and a big concern for Vermont,” Traci Sawyers, an early childhood health expert at nonprofit Building Bright Futures, told VTDigger. Even more alarming: Up to 70% cases considered by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) that involved children below the age of 3 were tied to opiate abuse in the immediate family, according to DCF’s 2014 Child Protection Report. The uptick is an alarming trend that has been amplified in the past several years. In 2002, there were only 12 babies…

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