Research Topic

Parenting in the Context of Opioid Use: Mechanisms, Prevention Solutions, and Policy Implications

About this Research Topic

The United States (US) is experiencing an opioid epidemic of historic significance. In 2017, 11.4 million people misused opioids and more than 40,000 overdose deaths occurred. The economic costs of the epidemic in 2015 alone were estimated at over $500 billion USD, and in 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services designated the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. US national-level epidemiological data indicate that the rates opioid misuse, addiction, overdose, and fatalities are increasing at a particularly fast rate among women, and among individuals of child-bearing and child-rearing age groups. Opioid-using behaviors among individuals who are parenting can have significant detrimental effects on their parenting and parent-child relationships, and can have downstream effects on child brain development, health, and subsequent risk for drug use. However, despite this knowledge about the harmful associations between opioid use and parent and child development outcomes, there are several gaps in the extant literature, including, but not limited to:

1) What are the behavioral and neurocognitive systems that are common mechanisms to both addiction issues and parenting challenges?
2) What are the developmental pathways to problematic and healthy outcomes for families where parental opioid misuse is present?
3) Are there disparities across specific populations of parents affected by opioids?
4) What promising prevention or intervention practices could improve parenting and child outcomes for families affected by opioid misuse?
5) What are the effects of policy and practice changes related to opioid use disorder treatment?

This Research Topic seeks to explore these and related gaps through the inclusion of a range of original research, systematic reviews, and policy articles. Therefore, we welcome submissions that focus on parenting and opioid use in any of the following: clinical trials, theoretical models, methodological innovations, original research, policy and practice reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, pilot studies, brief research reports, perspective papers, or policy briefs. In each of these formats, manuscripts that address important theoretical, methodological, and/or policy advances to the field are welcome across both human and non-human animal model systems.

Manuscripts will be considered only after abstract submission.


Keywords: Parenting, opioids, children, prevention, neuroscience, Opioid misuse


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The United States (US) is experiencing an opioid epidemic of historic significance. In 2017, 11.4 million people misused opioids and more than 40,000 overdose deaths occurred. The economic costs of the epidemic in 2015 alone were estimated at over $500 billion USD, and in 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services designated the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. US national-level epidemiological data indicate that the rates opioid misuse, addiction, overdose, and fatalities are increasing at a particularly fast rate among women, and among individuals of child-bearing and child-rearing age groups. Opioid-using behaviors among individuals who are parenting can have significant detrimental effects on their parenting and parent-child relationships, and can have downstream effects on child brain development, health, and subsequent risk for drug use. However, despite this knowledge about the harmful associations between opioid use and parent and child development outcomes, there are several gaps in the extant literature, including, but not limited to:

1) What are the behavioral and neurocognitive systems that are common mechanisms to both addiction issues and parenting challenges?
2) What are the developmental pathways to problematic and healthy outcomes for families where parental opioid misuse is present?
3) Are there disparities across specific populations of parents affected by opioids?
4) What promising prevention or intervention practices could improve parenting and child outcomes for families affected by opioid misuse?
5) What are the effects of policy and practice changes related to opioid use disorder treatment?

This Research Topic seeks to explore these and related gaps through the inclusion of a range of original research, systematic reviews, and policy articles. Therefore, we welcome submissions that focus on parenting and opioid use in any of the following: clinical trials, theoretical models, methodological innovations, original research, policy and practice reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, pilot studies, brief research reports, perspective papers, or policy briefs. In each of these formats, manuscripts that address important theoretical, methodological, and/or policy advances to the field are welcome across both human and non-human animal model systems.

Manuscripts will be considered only after abstract submission.


Keywords: Parenting, opioids, children, prevention, neuroscience, Opioid misuse


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Abstract
15 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Abstract
15 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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