Louisiana a top-four state with high opioid rates and children raised by grandparents

    New Census Bureau research shows that more grandparents are stepping up to care for children whose parents have substance abuse disorders in the wake of the opioid epidemic that was declared a public health crisis in 2017.

    Louisiana is among four states that have the highest per capita rates of opioid prescribing in the nation. These four states also have the most adults over the age of 30 raising their grandchildren.

    In Louisiana, 2.2% of adults are raising grandchildren, compared to a national average of 1.4%. Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi also have the highest rates of those two measures, coming in at 2.2%, 2.2%, and 2.9% respectively.

    Nationwide, the percentage of the population age 30 and over who are raising grandchildren is higher in states that have higher opioid prescribing rates, which follows the trend shown in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

    The research uses both survey estimates from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year data and administrative 2016 Opioid Prescribing Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read the full report.

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