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WVPB's continuing coverage of the opioid crisis affecting West Virginia.Deaths related to opioid abuse have more than doubled in the past decade as millions of prescriptions flooded the state. Treatment programs have been overwhelmed as families struggle to cope with the fallout of addiction. These are the stories of West Virginians impacted by the opioid epidemic, and the struggle to combat the crisis.Across Appalachia, Thousands of Children are Affected by Opioid Addiction: Who’s Helping Them?West Virginia Sees Increase in 'Family' Sex Trafficking Related to Opioid EpidemicOpioid Epidemic Putting Thousands More in Foster Care

Grandfamilies Of The Opioid Crisis

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Grandfamilies of the Opioid Crisis

Chemical addictions and the opioid crisis have divided millions of U.S. families. An addicted parent can abandon responsibilities to their children. When a grandparent steps in to help, it creates a new kind of family structure. Some call it a grandfamily. Addictions can create a generational Us & Them divide in a household. It also spotlights underlying financial issues that cause a strain between parents and their adult children.

 

West Virginia and other Appalachian states are at the epicenter of this trend. But there’s a new effort called “Healthy Grandfamilies.” It’s a training program designed to support grandparents when they become caregivers the second time around.

 

For this episode, Trey speaks with West Virginian grandparents, who are raising their children’s children and Bonnie Dunn, a champion for the “Healthy Grandfamilies” project.

 

Samantha Gattsek, co-produced this report.

 

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

 

Subscribe to Us & Them on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher and beyond. You also can listen to Us & Them on WVPB Radio - Tune in on the fourth Thursday of every month at 8 PM, with an encore presentation on the fourth Saturday at 3 PM.

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