Children of addiction; the young victims of the opioid crisis

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 23:27:19-05

Photos, snapshots in time, those are the only remaining memories one western new york family has after opening their home to foster six different children.

"You read to them, you sing them to sleep, I mean all of that, if you're not getting attached you're not doing your job," said foster father, Kevin. 

Two years ago Kevin and Nanette decided to became foster parents to children in need. "It's very rewarding," said Nanette, "we love these kids."

And this family had to quickly adapt to another challenge, helping soothe babies addicted to opiates. 

The opioid epidemic is not just impacting adults, but children as well, ripping families apart.

"I've definitely seen a rise in referrals for parents who are struggling with substance abuse problems," said Sara Falzon, an intake coordinator for Gateway Longview. 

These babies can exhibit extreme withdrawal symptoms including tremors, excessive sucking, high-pitched, persistent crying, excessive sneezing and refluxes.

According to local adoption agency, Adoption Star, more and more children are entering the system because of the epidemic. The agency says several of these babies experienced premature births and withdrawal symptoms.

There is a need for foster families right here in western new york. For more information or to contact Gateway-Longview, click here.