The Impact of Opioids on Children

The Impact of Opioids on Children 1024 575 Abbie Roth
A black-and-white image of an adolescent White boy, a young Black girl, an adolescent White girl, a Black teen boy, and a young White mom and her infant, all in a row across the screen, all in white shirts, and all with solemn expressions.

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.

These stories also appeared in the special expanded Fall/Winter 2018 print issue, “The Impact of Opioids.” Download a PDF of the print issue.

About the author

Abbie Roth, MWC, is a passionate communicator of science. As the managing editor for science communication at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, she shares stories about innovative research and discovery with audiences ranging from parents to preeminent researchers and leaders. Before coming to Nationwide Children’s, Abbie used her communication skills to engage audiences with a wide variety of science topics. As a subject-matter expert, she developed content for science education materials for McGraw-Hill Education, bringing science concepts to life for middle and high school aged students. She also provided technical editing for manuscripts spanning the American Chemical Society journal portfolio, in addition to serving as production lead for ACS Synthetic Biology. Abbie earned her BS in Life Sciences at Otterbein University while working at the Tan & Cardinal newspaper and minoring in Public Relations. She is a Medical Writer Certified®, credentialed by the American Medical Writers Association.