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Heroin Epidemic Wiping Out an Entire Generation of Children

Nov. 1, 2016 (EIRNS)—In Cincinnati today, doctors, nurses, social workers, and addiction specialists gathered at Xavier University for an all-day conference to discuss the destruction of an entire generation of children, either born addicted to heroin, or living chaotic lives because their parents are addicted to heroin or opioid painkillers.

The heroin epidemic has devastated once-industrialized Ohio, which last year witnessed a 20% increase in heroin-overdose deaths, which rose to 3,050. Over the past seven years, Ohio’s Public Children Services Association reported a 19% increase in the number of children taken into custody, due largely to their parents’ heroin and painkiller addiction. Add to this the paradigmatic case of Huntington, West Virginia, once a thriving center of the coal industry. As CNN reported on Sept. 16, one in ten babies born at Cabel-Huntington Hospital is addicted to some type of drug—15 times the national average! Two dozen addicted babies are cared for in the hospital’s neonatal therapeutic unit, 12 more than it was built to accommodate.

According to Associated Press, Dr. Kathy Wedig, a neonatologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, reported at today’s conference that the physical problems of addicted newborns and the chaos faced by the children of addicts, combined, mean that these children "cannot have what we would consider a normal childhood." Dr. Jennifer Bowden, a child psychiatrist, reported on the significant increase, both in numbers and severity, of cases of children suffering from what she called "toxic stress," caused by exposure to trauma and neglect related to their parents’ addictions. Toxic stress negatively affects a child’s physical, emotional, social, and language development, and leads to serious health risks later in life, she explained.

Conference attendees are concerned about the astronomical cost of caring for and treating such children, rightly so, given that drug legalizer Barack Obama has denied Americans access to decent healthcare and necessary social services.

CBS News quotes Sam Quinones, author of the book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (published in April 2015), who pointed to the absolute lack of any serious discussion in this year’s presidential campaign of the heroin epidemic or addiction to opioid drugs. The issue is splashed across Ohio’s media every day, he said. Highway billboards promote Narcan, the antidote to heroin overdose. But

"the presidential election seems to be fantasyland. People are covering bizarre little details that matter not one iota to many American lives. But no one has spent time talking about the opiate epidemic."

At a recent Cleveland campaign event addressed by Obama, CBS added, a woman sat in the front row close to him, clutching a picture of a deceased relative, and each time Obama paused, she shouted, "What about heroin?" He never responded or mentioned the problem of drug addiction once during his speech.