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.
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