Manatee County in Florida has had a hard time with the opioid crisis, and an even harder set of decisions to make. The county is one of the leaders in the state for removing children from their families for drug crimes, with the rationale that the children will later be reunited in safer circumstances. This is not punitive, but a safety matter intended to keep the children out of harm’s way. One resident, Lily Critchfield, had two children taken from her for their safety while she was addicted to drugs, but after undergoing treatment she was reunited with her children six months later.
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With the opioid crisis hitting Manatee County particularly hard, state officials list the county among the highest in removing children from their homes.
Manatee County officials say this is mostly due to drugs and their main priority is to reunite children with parents in a safe environment.
- High rates of kids removed from home due to drugs
- Increase in cocaine and methamphetamine deaths
- States top priority: reunite children with parents
- Family Safety Alliance Manatee/Sarasota County
Last year, the county had more than 400 children removed from their homes and they say that more than half of those cases were because of drugs.
While the county has been facing an opioid epidemic over the last few years, some believe that the problem is bigger than just one drug.
“From 2015 to 2016 we saw an increase in cocaine and methamphetamine deaths,” said Nathan Scott from Family Safety Alliance. “So it’s a substance (ab)use problem and not just an opioid problem.” Click Here to Continue Reading