© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stay tuned to KMUW and NPR for the latest developments from the Republican National Convention.

The opioid crisis is causing grandparents to become caregivers again

Homeless grandmother Valencia Terrell arrives with her grandchild to stay temporarily at a friend's home in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Homeless grandmother Valencia Terrell arrives with her grandchild to stay temporarily at a friend's home in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The U.S. is battling a years-long, devastating opioid epidemic. Last year saw 79,770 reported opioid-involved drug overdose deaths, a 1.5 percent decrease from the previous year, according to data from the CDC.

Nevertheless, the opioid crisis has upended traditional family structures. Many parents have died from overdosing, become incarcerated, or are otherwise unable to care for their children due to substance abuse.

As a result, more and more children are being raised primarily by their grandparents in what are known as grandfamilies.

Grandfamilies face unique challenges, as caregivers contend with stigma, dwindling income, deficits in technological savvy, and health issues related to aging.

What kind of support do grandfamilies need to raise successful children? We explore how the opioid crisis is affecting grandparent caregivers with a panel of experts.

For grandfamilies seeking resources, click here.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Lauren Hamilton