Epidemic of Prescription Abuse
The epidemic of prescription abuse is destroying families in Clay County in northeastern Florida. In the first three months of 2012 in Clay County, the Department of Children and Families has had to remove nearly 80 children from their homes for their own safety. That is an increase of 45 percent compared to last year. In many of the removal cases, the parents were abusing prescription pain pills or methamphetamine. Their actions and their addictions put their children at risk.
The Department of Children and Families learned that prescription drug abuse played a role in the removals. In many cases, there was serious abuse of prescription pain pills, arrests of both parents for drug sales while their children were present, parents who were incapacitated by their own drug use, and serious neglect or abuse of children. Prescription abuse has been a factor in child removals in as many as 70 percent in some areas of northeastern Florida. The removals create problems for an already overburdened and underfunded foster care system.