One in Five Children at Higher Risk

Gummy bears laced with melatonin

According to the police, three employees of a daycare facility in suburban Chicago were recently arrested after they gave children gummy bears laced with melatonin (a sleep aid) without parental consent. The workers gave the children melatonin in an effort to calm them down before naptime and hadn’t been given permission from the parents.

This is troubling considering that these employees didn’t ask the parents or even consider the health risks of giving kids a sleeping supplement. Those children could have been allergic to melatonin which could have swollen their throats and caused breathing issues; it’s uncommon, yet, still possible.

This left me thinking. Have we as a society completely lost our sense of concern about taking drugs that we’d so easily just give children something to help them sleep when we’re not sure that it won’t harm them? Now, I know what you must be thinking… that this was an isolated event. Not everyone in society is responsible for the actions of a few, but, I need to point out something I discovered from a study conducted at Harvard Medical School; one in five U.S. children grows up in a household in which someone misuses alcohol or has a substance use disorder.

That equates to millions of children at a higher risk of drug or alcohol abuse and continuing the multi-generational cycle of addiction, according to the Harvard Medical School study. This study reports that children whose parents use drugs and misuse alcohol are three times more likely to be physically or sexually or emotionally abused and four times more likely to be neglected than their peers.

It’s safe to say, America has a drug problem. A recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control estimated that nearly six out of every 1,000 infants born in the U.S. are now diagnosed with NAS, which is a postnatal withdrawal syndrome that comprises a constellation of symptoms in newborns, including central nervous system irritability (e.g., tremors, high-pitched crying, birth defects and seizures), gastrointestinal dysfunction (e.g., feeding difficulties), and temperature instability.

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please seek help.

Call Narconon Arrowhead and speak with an intake coordinator. Together we can end the cycle of addiction and help you to achieve a drug-free life.




Joanne is a veteran Narconon staff member who earlier worked at the New York Rescue Workers Detox Program.