Tevis Simon was never sure which mother she’d see when she was growing up in West Baltimore.
“I knew that if my mom had her drugs, that she was fun, Mommy. And if she didn’t, then she was mean mommy,” Simon said.
Simon’s mother was addicted to opioids and her struggle with the drug led to an environment of abuse and neglect at times.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 4.2% of children in the United States live in a household where one or more of the parents misuse opioids.
“The experience of having a parent with an opioid use disorder is traumatic for children,” said Ruth Paris, an associate professor at Boston University who specializes in early childhood trauma.
Sesame Street Workshop is using a $1.3 million grant from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts to build some of the first and only curriculum specifically catered to young children whose parents are dealing with addiction.