National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

Help. Hope. Support.

Donate Today

Find Out How You Can Help

2019 State Roundtable Report: Drug and Alcohol Workgroup [Pennsylvania]

Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Office of Children and Families in the Courts – 2019

This report discusses the establishment of the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Workgroup and the workgroup’s activities and recommendations for 2019. It begins by sharing research findings on the importance of collaboration when working with the substance abusing child welfare population, the importance of treatment interventions including the whole family, and the need to recognize addiction as a disease in order to move forward with helping individuals and families affected by substance use disorders (SUDs). The report describes progress made on priorities for 2018-2019 including: testing Pennsylvania’s Drug and Alcohol In-Depth Analysis process, exploring the implications of co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues, exploring how the legalization of marijuana may impact child welfare, and developing a resource on supporting the child prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol. Findings are shared on the analysis of the legalization of marijuana that indicate youth (ages 12-17) past month marijuana use increased 12% in the three-year average (2013-2015) since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana compared to the three-year average prior to legalization (2010-2012; there is a lack of research on the impact of marijuana on parenting and caregiving of children; existing research supports that physical hazards in marijuana grow-operations pose a threat to children residing there; and there has been an increase in children being evaluated for unintentional marijuana ingestion post legalization of marijuana. Recommendations are made for mandatory reporters regarding marijuana use and exposure, key considerations for Pennsylvania on the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana are discussed, and additional recommendations for the Pennsylvania State Roundtable are made. 17 references.