Ohio spends less on child welfare than any system in the nation. It has also been hit harder than almost any other state by the opioid crisis, which has continued unabated – perhaps worsened by – the coronavirus pandemic. Renowned journalist Lisa Ling explores the collision course created by those two realities, and what Ohio leaders are trying to do about it, on next week’s episode of her CNN documentary series “This Is Life with Lisa Ling.”
“When Heroin Hits Home” airs on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. EST. The Imprint’s own Daniel Heimpel, our publisher and founder of the nonprofit Fostering Media Connections, assisted in the production of the episode.
The show explores different ways in which one Ohio County has developed ways to help parents struggling with addiction keep their children, or be reunited with them. Ling visits Brigid’s Path, a new organization keeping the mother-baby bond going while treating newborns for opioid-related withdrawal, and a family treatment center where Ebony Clancy, one of the show’s main subjects, will first endure detox and then be joined by her young daughter.
“She’s had ‘this’ me her whole existence, even before she came into this world,” Clancy told Ling. “I’m ready to stop ‘this’ me.”
The stakes could not be higher for Ohio. Overdose deaths have spiked in the state during the pandemic, and while the number of youth in foster care in America has declined since 2017, in Ohio the total has reached a new high each year since 2010.