West Virginia has the highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the nation: more than half of all kids in the state are being raised by their grandparents. It’s an astonishing statistic. But in the state’s southwestern Lincoln County, that number is even higher. An employee for the local school district estimates it’s 70 percent.

Who are the children whose parents have been stolen by opioids? And what do these American grandfamilies look like?

When Opioids Steal Your Parents. Plus. . . | The Free Press


We think it’s important to admit when we get something wrong and yesterday, we did. In a powerful story on the rise of grandfamilies” in West Virginia, we misstated that a majority of kids in West Virginia, and in Lincoln County, are being raised by their grandparents. This was based on a misreading of Census data. In fact, it is a majority of grandparents living with their grandchildren who are also responsible for their care. The Free Press regrets the error—and appreciates the eagle-eyed reader who spotted it.

June 17, 2024

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