Category Archives: Parenting

The Seldom Mentioned Side Of Opioid Addiction

.jpg photo of woman in labor
Number of Opioid-Addicted Women Giving Birth Quadruples

Number of Opioid-Addicted Women
Giving Birth Quadruples

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

The number of pregnant women addicted to opioids as they give birth has more than quadrupled since 1999, a disturbing new report shows.

In 2014, for every 1,000 hospital deliveries, 6.5 were mothers who arrived at the hospital with opioid use disorder, up from 1.5 per 1,000 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found.

This increase is likely linked to America’s ongoing opioid epidemic, said study co-author Jean Ko, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s division of reproductive health.

“With the opioid overdose epidemic, it’s natural to see increases in opioid use disorder among the general population,” Ko said.  “Our data tell us that women presenting for labor and delivery are no different.

Opioid use during pregnancy has been tied to maternal death during delivery, stillbirth and preterm birth, the CDC researchers noted.

Even babies born healthy might have to go through opioid withdrawal, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Babies with NAS can experience tremors, convulsions, seizures, difficulty feeding, breathing problems, fever, diarrhea and trouble sleeping, according to the March of Dimes.

The CDC study used data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, focusing on 28 states with at least three years of data available for analysis.

Between 1999 and 2014, all 28 states saw significant increases in opioid-addicted pregnant women entering labor.

Vermont and West Virginia had the most cases of opioid-affected pregnancies in 2014.  Vermont had 48.6 cases for every 1,000 deliveries; West Virginia had 32.1 cases per 1,000.  On the low-end, Nebraska had 1.2 cases per 1,000 and the District of Columbia had 0.7 per 1,000.

The average annual rate increases were highest in Maine, New Mexico, Vermont and West Virginia.  Those states all had growth of more than 2.5 cases per 1,000 each year — six times higher than the national average of 0.4 cases per 1,000.

The states with the lowest increases were California and Hawaii, with fewer than 0.1 new cases per 1,000 each year.

The new information “is very alarming and is a call to arms regarding this national health crisis,” said Dr. Mitchell Kramer, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

“We are well aware of the association of opioid exposure and abuse with adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm labor and delivery, stillbirth, neonatal withdrawal syndrome and maternal mortality,” he said.

But Ko said concerns about babies with NAS should not dissuade pregnant women from taking medicines appropriately prescribed to treat chronic medical disorders, or from taking medications like methadone or buprenorphine that aid in addiction treatment.

The CDC recommends a number of strategies for countering this dangerous trend:

  • Making sure opioids are prescribed appropriately.
  • Strengthening state-level prescription drug monitoring programs.
  • Requiring substance abuse screening at the first prenatal visit, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
  • Ensuring that pregnant women with opioid use disorder have access to addiction therapy, and that new opioid-addicted mothers receive postpartum care that includes mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Kramer pointed out that “the implications of this startling CDC data are that coordinated national, state and provider efforts are necessary to prevent, monitor and treat opioid use disorder among reproductive-aged and pregnant women.”

The report was published in the Aug. 10 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Same WA HHS-CPS Tainted Stats, Lies, Billion$$ Wasted

.jpg photo of release of new HHS report
As states begin actively watching over CPS, like Texas, the true numbers will come out.

New data: Child Abuse deaths rise,
notably in Texas, Indiana

There is not 686,000 calls taken for Child maltreatment, there are at least 3,300,000 calls annually for Child Abuse, and this is estimated to be less than a quarter of the actual instances of Child Maltreatment, which translates to at least 13,200,000 actual instances of Child maltreatment.

However, somehow CPS hacks through all the Abused Children, and comes up with just 686,000 instances of abuse, this is why all Child Abuse calls should be made to 911.  Also, “under staffed”, “case-load too high”, and “under-funded”, is stock, go-to excuses every time, yet these people’s transgressions are well documented: Making fake abuse calls on innocent people, Throwing thousands of unchecked reports in dumpsters, Deleting answering machines, Taking weeks to investigate priority cases which are supposed to be checked out within 24 hours, and a real favorite of theirs is Manufacturing Instruments(Documents) of the court…. SO THEY CAN HURT INNOCENT CHILDREN, PARENTS, AND GOOD FAMILIES!!!!

All of this is a matter of record, just as their “5 Children die a day from abuse”, the real number is at least 10 – 13, and possibly as high as 15 Children die every day from Child Maltreatment.  And finally, “UNDERFUNDED????”, at this point in time, there are several cases of CPS employees ripping off the system(the Tax payers) for 5 and 6 figures by traveling first class, among other things.
Robert StrongBow

INDIANAPOLIS, IN  –  Newly released federal figures show a sharp rise in child abuse fatalities in the U.S., with the bulk of the increase occurring in two states — Indiana and Texas — where child-welfare agencies have been in disarray.

Not one state has met all of the minimum child welfare standards even one (1) time since this system was put in place.
“Shame On U.S.” Report

According to a report released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,700 fatalities resulting from child maltreatment reported in fiscal year 2016, compared to 1,589 the previous year — a 7 percent increase.  The figures encompass data from every state but Maine, as well as from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Accounting for most of the increase were Texas, where fatalities jumped from 162 to 217, and Indiana, where the death toll more than doubled from 34 to 70.

“It breaks my heart for the kids in this state right now,” said Juvenile Judge Marilyn A. Moores, whose Indianapolis courtroom has seen a surge in child welfare cases due to the opioid epidemic.

“Traditional systems of early warning are overwhelmed.  And parents, because of addiction, aren’t seeking intervention because their kids are going to be removed,” she added.  “It allows kids to die.  It’s a fact.”

Long festering problems in Indiana’s child welfare system exploded into public view in December, when the director of the Department of Child Services resigned with a scathing letter that accused Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb of making management changes and service cuts that “all but ensure children will die.”

“I choose to resign, rather than be complicit in decreasing the safety, permanency and well-being of children who have nowhere else to turn,” wrote Mary Beth Bonaventura, a former juvenile judge appointed to lead the agency by then-Gov. Mike Pence in 2013.

In recent years, the number of child welfare cases in Indiana has skyrocketed, rising from about 13,000 in 2012 to nearly 24,000 last year.  Funding, meanwhile, has not kept pace, said Cathy Graham, executive director of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy.

Advocates paint a picture of an agency in perpetual triage, with caseworkers spread so thin that they have little choice but to cut corners.  The agency does not have enough caseworkers to meet a minimum requirement set in state law and turnover has been a major problem, according to the agency’s most recent annual report.

Holcomb launched a review in December.  A preliminary report released Thursday found the state has an inadequate case management system.

In Texas, abuse-related fatalities have continued to rise despite high-level personnel changes at the child welfare agency, new legislative appropriations, and a federal judge, Janis Graham Jack, declaring in 2015 that the foster care system violated the constitutional rights of youngsters’ placed in long-term foster care.

In January, the judge issued her final order in the case, saying the state’s foster care system remained “broken.”  She also ordered improvements in regards to record keeping and the handling of foster care placements.  Texas appealed the ruling.

Two years ago, a commission created by Congress concluded that the United States lacks coherent, effective strategies for reducing the number of children who die each year from abuse and neglect.  Although the number of such deaths reported by HHS has hovered at around 1,500 to 1,600 annually in recent years, the commission — citing gaps in how the data is compiled — suggested the actual number may be as high as 3,000 a year.

The commission issued an update this week noting that states across the country were moving to implement some of its recommendations for preventing maltreatment deaths.

The new report released by HHS’s Children’s Bureau, formally known as the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, does not offer theories explaining the sharp rise in child fatalities, but it provides demographic data on the victims.

According to the report, 70 percent of the victims were younger than 3.  Fatality rates were higher for boys than for girls, and higher for African-American children than for whites and Hispanics.

Parents — acting alone, together or with other individuals — were the perpetrators in 78 percent of the deaths.

Looking more broadly at national trends, the report estimated that 676,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2016, a 1 percent drop from 2015. Most of the cases involved neglect; about 18 percent involved physical abuse — up slightly from 2015.

“When your data is flawed, every other part of your system is going to be flawed.”
Elisa Weichel, a staff attorney with the Children’s Advocacy Institute

Child Abuse And Neglect Laws Aren’t Being Enforced, Report Finds

January 27, 2015
Laws intended to protect children from abuse and neglect are not being properly enforced, and the federal government is to blame
.

Neither Snow, Rain, Heat, Nor Trafficker

.jpg photo of postal worker and young girl he saved
Crystal Allen, 16, gave postal worker Ivan Crisostomo a warm hug when she saw him Thursday.

Postal worker rescues teen who managed
to escape hands of sex traffickers

SACRAMENTO, CA  –  A California teenager had the opportunity to reunite with her unlikely hero — the postal worker who saved her from sex trafficking.

Sixteen-year-old Crystal Allen gave postal worker Ivan Crisostomo a warm hug when she saw him Thursday, but the first time they met, Allen feared for her life.

Allen’s mother Stacy Ohman said her daughter met a “friend” who had lured her to Sacramento, where she found herself trapped in a world of drugs and sex trafficking.

“I was kidnapped, and held captive, and abused and stuff,” Allen said.

One day, she found the opportunity to escape.  Allen was inside her captors’ car in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood when she heard them discussing a crime.  She then jumped out of a car, grabbed one of their phones and ran for her life.

That’s when Crisostomo found her.

“I heard this crying when I came out of the vehicle, so I approached her and I asked her.  She was afraid, she didn’t want to talk,” he said.

Eventually, he convinced the terrified teen to call her mother.

“She was frantic.  I didn’t know what was going on,” Ohman said.  “I couldn’t even understand her she was so upset and that’s when I told her she had to reach out to someone for safety and she gave the phone to Ivan and he instantly kicked into gear and told me that he would save my daughter.”

Crisostomo let Allen sit in his postal truck until police arrived on scene.

“He stepped up where a lot of people would have just kept driving down the road. He made a huge positive impact in this young girl’s life,” said Deputy David Cuneo of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Crisostomo said he’s just happy Allen is safe.

“The way I see her, she has a wonderful future ahead.  She’s doing so well.  I’m happy. I’m really happy,” he said.

Thank You For What Some Never See

.jpg photo of Florida Cops honored for saving choking baby
Curt and Ana Graham, their son William, daughter Lucia and Palm Beach Gardens Police Officers Robert Ayala and Rafael Guadalupe.

Gardens cops who saved choking baby at mall are ‘angels,’ mom says

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL  –  Two Palm Beach Gardens police officers are heroes to a panicked mom whose 14-month-old daughter turned blue while choking on a chicken nugget at The Gardens Mall two weeks ago.

Lucia Graham has been eating solid food — and a lot of it — since she was 9 months old, but on that afternoon, the chicken nugget she was chomping on got wedged in her throat, mom Ana Graham said.  The Wellington mother of two could tell right away that something was wrong.

“On her second bite, I noticed she looked at me with her eyes wide open.  She started turning red,” she said.

She yanked Lucia from her stroller and patted her on the back like the pediatrician taught her, but to no avail.  Lucia started turning blue.

Then, “like angels from heaven,” two Palm Beach Gardens police officers who had been sitting across the food court appeared, she said.

Officer Robert Ayala, who had been assigned to the mall July 21, saw Ana Graham “frantically” get up and go to the stroller minutes after the family sat down.  He ran up and grabbed the baby, put her face down on his left hand and struck her upper back with his palm a few times.  Then he swept her mouth with his finger.

No luck.

The stubborn chicken nugget remained stuck until Ayala forcefully patted little Lucia on her back again.  That’s when she finally spewed out the mushy nugget.

As the ordeal was unfolding, Officer Rafael Guadalupe immediately got on his radio to call for Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue and talked to Ana Graham to try to keep her calm.

Ayala said he usually likes to walk around the mall so that people see him in uniform as a crime deterrent.  He was at the food court only because Guadalupe was there for lunch.

“It was just the right place at the right time,” he said.

Palm Beach Gardens police undergo CPR and first aid training — including how to respond to choking adults and infants — at least every other year, department spokesman Maj. Paul Rogers said.  Ayala credits his training for his quick response.

“This thing happened so fast, you didn’t have time to react.  It’s just like muscle memory,” said Ayala, a father of three.

The Palm Beach Gardens City Council honored Ayala and Guadalupe Thursday night.  Ayala previously received a life-saving award for forming a human chain with other officers to save two firefighters who got trapped in a rip-current effect as they attempted to rescue a young man who drowned in a spillway while wake-skating.

As for Lucia, paramedics checked her out as a precaution.  The scare didn’t stop her from finishing her lunch.

Lucia’s 2 1/2-year-old brother, William, unfazed by the incident, continued eating his chicken and french fries.

Dad Curt Graham got a very long text message while he was at work, “which is never a good thing.”  He called his wife, who was shaken up as she recounted what happened.

He’s “eternally grateful for the fast action,” he said.

MO Man Charged With Cruel Child Abuse

.jpg photo of man charged with Child Abuse
James L. Hays Jr., 48

Sedalia man charged with Child Abuse

SEDALIA, MO  –  A Sedalia man has been charged with physically abusing three children.

James L. Hays Jr., 48, of the 300 block of East 14th Street, was arrested Monday afternoon at his residence and was charged Tuesday in Pettis County Circuit Court with three counts of abuse or neglect of a child.  He is at the Pettis County Jail on a $1 million bond, cash or surety.

According to a Sedalia Police Department report, an officer took a report July 23 in reference to several allegations of child abuse to three children.  Detective Travis St. Cyr began an investigation and a search warrant was served at Hays’ home Monday.

The probable cause statement indicates the children’s grandmother took them to Bothwell Regional Health Center after she noticed large bruises on them and they disclosed to her that a man known to them, identified as Hays, had been physically abusing them.  The children are ages 12, 9 and 8.

All three children were interviewed at Child Safe of Central Missouri on July 27, according to the probable cause statement.

The 9-year-old said Hays would “kick them, make them do punishments and drown them” when their mother wasn’t home.  The child showed the Child Safe interviewer a bruise and a knot on her leg from Hays kicking her, explaining it happened when she was eating granola bars.  She said Hays took the food away, spanked the child a few times, kicked her and made her do push-ups.

The girl said he “yells at them, kicks them a lot, and spanks her” when the children try to get food, court documents state.  Hays barely feeds them, she said.

The child also talked about occasions when Hays forced her to eat hot peppers, poured water over her head causing her to be unable to breathe, hit her with a belt, and called her names.

The 8-year-old said Hays makes him do “up-downs, push-ups, jumping jacks and gets spankings with a belt” when he’s in trouble.

All three children told the interviewer about numerous occasions when he would hit, kick or spank them, usually leaving bruises.  The 8-year-old recalled a time when the 9-year-old’s legs were hurt so badly she could barely walk, and another time the 12-year-old was shot with green bullets, which detectives later discovered with an airsoft gun during the search warrant.

The children all also talked about Hays locking them in the bathroom and forcing them to sleep in a closet in the bathroom.  The 9-year-old said Hays locks the door with a bar on the outside.  The 12-year-old drew pictures of the two metal bars she said Hays uses; one is black with “Hays” written on it while the other is red with Neo-Nazi symbols, court documents state.

The 12-year-old said they’ve been sleeping in the bathroom for four years.

Two children said their mother isn’t allowed to do anything about Hays locking the children in the bathroom.  The 9-year-old talked about their mother “sneaking food to them while locked in the bathroom.  She specifically mentioned peanut butter and jelly.”  The 12-year-old said a few times their mother either tried to call someone or get the children out of the bathroom, but Hays wouldn’t let her.

According to court documents, during the search warrant SPD officers found the black metal bar, the red metal bar, belts matching the children’s descriptions, and a long rifle airsoft gun with green plastic BBs loaded inside, all consistent with the children’s disclosures.

The bathroom door didn’t have metal brackets attached, “but it was clear that they were recently removed.”  Officers found brackets inside a toolbox that matched up with the holes on the door frame.

Online court documents do not list an attorney for Hays, and a hearing has not been scheduled.