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The Impact of Opioids on Children

October 22, 2018
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An introduction to a special collection of stories about the effects of the opioid epidemic on children

The faces above represent the young lives affected by the opioid crisis. Children who are losing their parents to addiction and overdoses. Children who live in instability and uncertainty. Children who spend their earliest weeks in withdrawal. And children who are at risk of developing their own addictions.

Here in Columbus, Ohio, we’ve had a front row seat to the opioid crisis. In the book Dreamland, Sam Quinones describes the day one physician from Nationwide Children’s, after 20 years of treating young people with addiction, treated his first case of teenage heroin addiction. He became one of the first to sound the alarm and develop treatment plans tailored to teens and young adults with opioid addiction.

At a time when the opioid crisis was just beginning to get attention in the media, our neonatologists were developing protocols and collaborative quality improvement projects to treat the babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome who were flooding the neonatal intensive care units.

In this special section of Pediatrics Nationwide, we have collected stories, ideas and opinions from leading physicians and researchers at one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States. They represent many others who are shifting research priorities, getting creative with clinical care and collaborating in new ways to bring hope and help to the children directly impacted by the opioid crisis.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will join the conversation on Twitter @NCHforDocs.

 

Special Section Table of Contents

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Transforming Care for Newborns and Their Families

What Happens When Opioid-Exposed Babies Go Home?

In Sight: Primary Care Provider Guide to NAS Follow Up

What Can Bench Science Teach Us About Opioid Abuse?

Managing Pain in an Era of Opioid Abuse

Breaking the Cycle: Preventing and Treating Addiction in Youth