Vegas Lost: Opioid addicted kids
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
In an unassuming waiting room at Positively Kids tragedies are avoided, hope is regained.
The kids here; the ones that will play with the toys and read the books are often fighting the type of addiction we know to plague adults.
“That’s an epidemic,” said President Frank Schultz “I’m just talking about Clark County, not Nevada.”
The Foundation for Positively Kids, among other things, provides services to kids fighting opioid addiction.
It means they’re treating newborns whose mothers were drug addicts. Babies will leave the NICU and head to their East Tompkins location where they are treated with methadone.
Kids are going through withdrawals before they learn how to walk.
"How young?", we asked.
“Birth on up to 18.” Schultz said “UMC has 500 a year in the emergency room, the death rate higher than the national average. These are things that need to be addressed.”
As Schultz tells us the size of the problem is mostly unknown. The state doesn’t track the numbers.
Now, a federal grant might change that. Positively Kids getting close to $750,000 from the Department of Justice. That grant will be used to set up an opioid task force. Schultz hopes to get the state, county, hospitals, everyone involved at the same table.
If you want to solve the problem you have to know exactly how big the problem is
“This task force will be able to look at where the gaps are, decide what services need to be provided, get information to the community and provide into the families about where to go for help", Schultz told us.