Ending food insecurity and child hunger could have a direct impact on ending the opioid epidemic, according to an op-ed in The Hill.

The Partnership to End Addiction’s vice president of prevention research and analysis Linda Richter and senior scientist in the Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Diana Fishbein write that children who grow up in households facing poverty, financial instability or other adverse experiences are at greater risk of developing physical and mental health problems, including substance use and addiction. They assert that substance use prevention efforts should take a broader approach to include a focus on the early years of child development, and that interventions in early childhood, such as the child tax credit, can have significant positive impacts on one’s life. Policies should be implemented that help reduce hunger, poverty and childhood adversity.