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September 2016
To All Who Care About our Children, our Future:
In light of another very disturb ing story that shows the devastating impact of drugs on children - this time in Liverpool, OH - where both parents overdosed in the car while their 4-year-old watched helplessly in the back seat - the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (National DEC) is calling on elected officials, policy makers, professionals, organizations, and communities to take action.

Let's come together and help these children, families, and communities. National DEC is a part of the solution...and you can be too!!! See: 
How big is this problem?   According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
  • Every day, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.
  • In 2014, 10,500 individuals died from heroin overdoses - a 26% increase over 2013. And it continues to rise.
  • Over 9 million children in the U.S. - 1 in 8 - live with a parent or other adult who uses illegal drugs
  • Every 25 minutes, a baby is born suffering from opiate withdrawal or Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
Too many children have watched their parent(s) get high, overdose, or even die. Too many children have to take care of their parents or their siblings due to their parent's substance misuse. Too many children are at risk! These are #DrugEndangeredChildren and they need our help! These children suffer trauma every day from exposure to adverse experiences and often lack even the basic emotional, behavioral, and physical support they need and deserve.

If we don't act now - the cycle will continue and children will continue to suffer needlessly.
What's the Solution?  National DEC believes that a common vision, effective collaboration by professionals and communities, and a commitment to ongoing changes to practice are needed to break multi-generational cycles of substance abuse and maltreatment these children experience. National DEC has worked with communities to provide training and tools that help put these in action. Each of us has opportunities to change the trajectory of these children's lives and National DEC can help your community be an agent of change. 
What Action is Necessary?   Here are a few action steps that you can take to help these children and families:
  • Provide funding for multi-disciplinary training to give law enforcement, child welfare, medical personnel, educators and other professionals within all communities the knowledge and tools that are needed.
  • Modify laws and policies that restrict information sharing and effective collaboration between the disciplines and agencies charged with helping drug endangered children and their families.
  • Participate in courses and trainings about substance abuse, addiction, child maltreatment, trauma, treatment/services, and recovery to gain insight about the causes of these issues and the solutions to help families recover.
  • Join & support National DEC in establishing an effective collaborative approach to the challenges presented by drug use, drug overdoses, child maltreatment, and devastation of families and communities. Contact us today: 
Chuck Noerenberg, JD

Lt. (Retired) Eric Nation 
Director of Training

Stacee Read, BA, MSW 
Director of DEC Network Development

"We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can't speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody."
Liverpool PD, Ohio

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