Substance use among parents has been increasing across the nation for the last decade. In Texas specifically, Child Protective Services (CPS) cases involving substance abuse rose by more than 50 percent during that time. In 2018, 67 percent of cases that resulted in removal cited substance abuse as a contributing factor.

Key Points

  • No one size fits all substance use disorder treatments. Parents should have the choice of their treatment plan.
  • There are systemic barriers to seeking treatment, such as criminal punishment, custody loss, stigma, and child care. Seeking treatment is difficult.
  • Untreated substance use disorders have a high price tag for taxpayers and the state.
  • Expanding community-based care would allow communities to tackle geographic substance use disorder problems and to increase treatment capacity.
  • Texas Family Code should include safe harbor provisions in statute for pregnant women seeking treatment, requiring CPS to prove additional grounds for removal beyond substance abuse during pregnancy.