BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It was a seven-year battle, but this family is back together after drugs ripped them apart. "We spent the better part of seven years in the court system taking drug tests and we just recently got full custody of our son Gavin from my wife's previous relationship," said Danny Molloy. "It was really, really hard to do but well worth it in the long run," he continued.
Molloy is a brand ambassador for the Addiction Prevention Coalition. He works to stop substance abuse and prevent the consequences. For many, those consequences include losing their children. New data from the State Department of Human Resources reveals DHR has removed more than 1,500 children from homes where at least one parent was abusing drugs in January 2018.
"When someone is addicted to heroin and pain pills they really don't think about the consequences. They just have to get their drug. They have to get it at all costs and unfortunately, sometimes that means giving up a child or going to buy drugs with the kids in the car," said Molloy.
He said it's a situation that continues to get worse and numbers are heartbreaking.
In Jefferson County, 185 children were placed in foster care due to a parent's drug abuse in 2017. That number has nearly doubled since 2010 when the number of children placed in foster care was 93.
In Shelby County, the numbers have more than quadrupled in the last seven years. In fiscal year 2017, 84 children in Shelby County were placed in foster care due to a parent's drug abuse.
"Most of the time we forget about the children, the innocent children who are affected when a mother or father is pulled from the home and they go to rehab and this child ends up in state's care. It's just a sad situation," said Molloy.