More Ohio kids in foster care amid opioid epidemic

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)
FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Child welfare advocates in Ohio say children have become the “invisible victims” of the opioid crisis as more kids are put into foster care and funding for children services agencies falls short.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio has some 14,000 children in agency custody. That’s a nearly 13 percent increase since the end of 2012.

A recent survey done by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio found that at least half of children taken into custody last year had parents using drugs that were mostly opiates.

The survey also says nearly 94 percent of the state’s 88 county Children Services agencies say heroin and other opiates are a serious problem in their communities. But the agencies haven’t received new money from the state.

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