Graduate project

Designing a Support Program for Children Affected by Household Opioid Use

Adolescents who have opioids introduced in the household have delayed social emotional development, poor grades, and may be more likely to use drugs at a young age. Drug use is a barrier to a healthy environment for children. Addicted parents may be more distant with their children so they may not form an emotional bond or have healthy parenting. The goal of this capstone was to develop an inclusive program for children and adolescents exposed to household opioid use based on a review of the relevant literature. This project was guided by the Health Belief Model. To construct this program, the focus is on three goals: 1) helping adolescents improve their grades, 2) providing socioemotional support services, 3) and education on drugs. Studies prove that there should be more support programs available for long term effects on children exposed to opioids. With the opioid epidemic affecting more populations, it is important to research and to develop public health programs for children affected by opioid use in the household.