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Sep 29, 2016 4:50 PM

44 percent of NH's DCYF cases involved substance abuse in 2015


CONCORD — The number of child protection investigations involving substance misuse is on the rise, according to the Division of Children and Youth Services (DCYF).

In fiscal year 2015, 44 percent of cases that filtered through DCYF listed substance abuse as a risk factor.

Manchester police reports show 32 calls from Jan. 1 through Sept. 26 where a child was present for an overdose.

“Opioid addiction can break a bond between a mother and child, which is a sacred bond,” said AMR Regional Director Chris Stawasz.

The number of drug addicted babies is also on the rise, DCYF reports. In 2013 there were 235 reports of infants exposed to substances, in 2015 it rose to 430.

DCYF’s director and leaders from local treatment centers told NH1 News that many suffering from substance misuse are hesitant to go to treatment because of fear they may lose their children.

“There are many families in New Hampshire that are receiving treatment that are not involved with DCYF,” said Director Lorraine Bartlett.

“If you're a parent and you recognize that you have an issue and you have community, family support that can assist you,” Barlett said, “that's a family issue. The way that the family comes to our attention is if someone has reason to believe that that child is being abused and neglected.”

Treatment centers are also likely to help place the child with a family to be sure that the child is protected and supported during the recovery process.

“Every human being is going to have problems from time to time in their lives and wouldn't it be nice if your kids realized that when you had problems you went and asked for help?” said Donna Lennon
Clinical Director at The Farnum Center.

If you or someone you know is in need of substance abuse treatment or resources, click here.

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