NH is Experiencing an Alcohol & Drug Abuse Crisis
Reunification with Active Substance Misusing Parents Is Not Safe or Healthy for Children
NH has had a 387% increase in the number of children removed from substance abuse environments, according to 2010-2015 statistics. Two years later one can only imagine how those numbers have grown and how many more children have been separated from loved ones, exposed to parental drug use and have languished in a backed-up system waiting for a permanent home. In 2010, 89 children were removed from substance abusing parents or guardians and in 2015, 329 children were removed. The number of babies DCYF was aware of who were born exposed to drugs/alcohol in 2012 was 155, by 2016 the numbers have soared to 467 infants. From 2014 to the first few months of 2017, the need for foster care placements has risen more than 25% and licensed foster homes (as of 2014) were down over 30%.
Info retrieved from NH DHHS DCYF 2015-2019 Child and Family Services Plan:
Seacoast Online: Help Children Caught in Drug Crisis, (May 2017):
Did you know that New England states have the highest ranking drug problems in the US?
Many of these substance misusing parents have children, so the shortage of foster parents in NH could soon reach epic proportions. According to DCYF stats we already have 269 less foster homes now than in 2014.
The NH DHHS DCYF 2015-2019 Child and Family Services Plan:
In the US the Administration indicates the rate of infants entering child welfare systems rose from 10.8 per 1000 to 11.4 per 1000 in 2014 over 2013 and that 30% of foster care placements were impacted by parental substance use.
In 2015 the CDC stated that NH was 1 of the top 5 states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose (34.3 per 100,000). Per capita, NH is now ranked #2 in the nation for the highest rates of death from drugs!
NH has the 4th highest drug use and addiction ranking in the country!
A recent analysis examined all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia across three categories: drug use and addiction, law enforcement, and drug health issues and rehab.
Where are the majority of our drugs coming from? Massachusetts. A state ranking 49th in the US as having the fewest drug arrests per capita and where most of our drugs come from. NH’s children are in even bigger trouble than anyone realizes. /
Foster parents have heard from DCYF that if drugs are not being used in front of the child, there is little they can do. Birth-parents with known histories of substance abuse should be court ordered for drug testing and clean. Collectively we can advocate for better parental rehabilitation services and safer reunification.