Opioid stock

This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Newly released figures show the opioid epidemic is expanding in Indiana and driving more children into foster care.

The 2018 Kids Count Data Book released by the nonprofit, Indiana Youth Institute, says more children are being removed from homes where parents use drugs.

In 2016, the institute found that more than 50 percent of children removed from homes by the state Department of Child Services was due to parental drug or alcohol abuse. Institute officials say that number jumped to nearly 60 percent for 2017.

The study comes after a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed a spike in fatalities resulting from child maltreatment. According to the report, Indiana's child maltreatment death toll more than doubled from 34 in 2015 to 70 in 2016.

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