Some of the most helpless victims of addiction are the children of individuals struggling with substance abuse. In Clark County, Nevada, there are more than 3,700 children in protective services, according to Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS. Of those kids, 80 percent were taken away from their parents for drug-related reasons.
The family court system in Clark County has currently been dealing with a flood of drug-addicted parents. The problem has gotten so bad that judges are seeing the same families in their courtrooms year after year.
Family court judge Frank Sullivan told the source that many parents are passing their substance abuse issues on to their children.
"We're also seeing it historically from generation to generation," Sullivan told the media outlet. "Where that child may have come into the system, needing protection because their parent who was doing drugs. Now those children are adults, and now their children are in the system for the same kind of problem: drugs or domestic violence. Those are the two things that seem to go generational."
Sullivan also noted that many of the parents know that their actions are putting their children in danger. Many find themselves in the court system because they want help.
To end the cycle of abuse and keep families together, the Clark County Family Court sends parents to drug treatment facilities and parenting classes. Within the next year, the court plans to begin a mentoring program to help mothers and fathers with a drug problem better navigate the social welfare system.