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The Times wants to hear your story about how opioid addiction has affected young kids in your life

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Lilliana Stasak and Natalia Okleshen, ages 7 and 5, play in their living room in Schererville in 2016. They lost their father, J.D. Okleshen, to a heroin overdose.

A surge in the use of heroin and prescription painkillers is killing several Northwest Indiana residents a month and devastating the lives of many more.

Often forgotten amid this crisis are the young children of the addicts.

The foster care system is overwhelmed as mothers and fathers in the throes of addiction lose their kids. Babies are being born dependent on opioids. Children are falling behind because of neglect by addicted parents.

The Times would like to hear your stories of how opioid use has affected young kids in your life. Maybe you are an addicted parent who lost children to the foster care system. Or a mother who gave birth to a baby dependent on heroin or painkillers. Or a grandparent who is raising your grandkids because of your own children's addiction.

If you are willing to share your personal story, contact Times reporter Giles Bruce at or 219-853-2584 or fill out this survey form: 


Health reporter

Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.