‘They looked at us like an easy target’

Debbie Cenziper, Emily Corio, Kelly Hooper and Douglas Soule - The Washington Post

This article from the Washington Post tells the story of family separation due to the opioid epidemic in the U.S. state of West Virginia. According to the article, "thousands of children [have been] separated from their parents and forced into state care by an opioid epidemic that fractured families in every corner of West Virginia, claiming 5,200 lives over two decades." The article states that 6,900 children in West Virginia have been placed into state care, which is double the number from a decade ago, and that officials estimate over 80% of those children have been impacted by the drug crisis. "For more than a decade, foster homes and emergency shelters have been short of beds. Caseworkers with sleeping bags and baby formula have shuttled children to overnight stays in motels or state offices. Billboards have gone up along the highways, calling on commuters to open their homes," says the article.