Researchers have said the nation's drug-addiction epidemic is driving an uptick in the number of kids entering foster care.
Tennessee’s Department of Children Services says the Knoxville area and Smokey Mountain area has seen as many as 700 drug-related cases a year causing kids to be put into the foster care system.
The reason for so many cases in the eastern part of the state deals is because of drug trafficking along Highways 40 and 75.
Davidson County has seen a steady increase the last five years as well but not as much.
“Because those addictions can be so powerful, those children are often in the foster care system a longer period time. These children are in foster homes for a longer period of time as their parents try to get over their opioid addictions” Rob Johnson with DCS said.
DCS said this increase is causing them to take urgent measures.
“It’s a challenge sometimes for the department to obviously find a community support for these people, to find rehab for these people. To help them and to support parents while they’re trying to get over their addictions,” Johnson said.