Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed April 26 as Drug Endangered Children’s Day in Kansas. The Kansas Department for Health and Environment (KDHE) joins Governor Kelly and the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children in highlighting the risks and challenges facing children whose caregivers misuse drugs and sharing opportunities for communities to collaborate on innovative programs to identify, protect and support these children.
In Kansas, an estimated 140,860 children live in environments where their parent or caregiver has a substance use disorder (SUD), and an estimated 5,155 Kansas infants are born exposed to substances yearly.
“We know that drug-endangered children are more likely to develop chronic diseases in their lifetime, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity,” Secretary Janet Stanek said. “They are also more likely to develop substance use disorder, have financial difficulties, and employment challenges.”
In December, Governor Kelly announced that KDHE would receive nearly $3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to better identify and support children exposed to drugs, increase public safety, and reduce overdose death. These efforts are part of KDHE’s All Hands on DECK (drug-endangered children in Kansas) project.
“The All Hands on DECK funding is an investment in Kansas children and a lifeline for family members with substance use disorder,” Joan Duwve, M.D., KDHE State Health Officer, said.
The funds will provide the support needed to implement DECK coalitions in six communities, focusing on populations disproportionately impacted by substance use disorder and drug overdose. The initiative will help to increase education and awareness of drug-endangered children and connect people to resources.
For more information on Drug Endangered Children in Kansas: Link to our fact sheet.
Learn about national initiatives and find tools to make a difference in your community: Roadmap & Toolkit - National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children (nationaldec.org). Explore the resources at CheckDEC.org or download the app.
Download a copy of the Kansas Drug Endangered Children Day proclamation and join the DEC Awareness Day activities on social media by using #DECAwarenessDay2023 #DrugEndangeredChildren #NationalDEC.