City, state leaders discuss solutions to care for child victims of TN opioid crisis

City, state leaders discuss solutions to care for child victims of TN opioid crisis (Image: WTVC)

Tennessee faces an epidemic of opioid abuse, and the abusers aren't the only victims - children are suffering as well.

On Wednesday, Council for a Strong America (CSA) published a report showing early childhood education is the solution.

According to the report, in the US every 25 minutes, a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal. The CDC says that last year alone, 1,800 Tennesseans died from overdoses - one of the highest death tolls in the country.

The CSA report says that about half of America's overdose deaths happen to people between ages 25 and 44 - the age when a lot of adults become parents.

Local leaders including Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy, Major General Leslie Purser, Teen Challenge President Roger Helle, and Tim Kelly met with Mayor Andy Berke and Rep. Chuck Fleishmann to discuss the issue Wednesday.

The study finds that the solution lies in educating kids before grade school in programs like Headstart. The staff are educated on counseling kids experiencing trauma and addiction.

The program also partners with social service agencies to connect parents with the resources they may need.

You can read the full report below: (Reading this on our mobile app? Tap here to open an external browser to read the report.)


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