Local grandparents raising their grandchildren as a result of the opioid crisis


John Lake Jr.'s life is anything but slow these days.

“Every day it’s new here. It’s like a circus. It’s crazy," he said.

John and his fiancé Tammy Bottorf are raising not one, not two, but five of their grandchildren.

“It was terrifying and stressful because, not knowing, we had to prepare for kids and it all happened so fast," Tammy said.

John says two of his daughters are in the process of getting treatment, with the hopes of being able to regain custody of their children.

For him, it hard to talk about.

“I wish they would get their stuff in line and get their life back on track," he said.

The couple both work full time jobs and went from being empty-nesters, to full time parents in the blink of an eye.

When asked what a typical day is like, John responded "I get up at two in the morning. I start work at 5:30 and I’m home by quarter after four and we deal with the kids.”

“We do homework and then we do bath time and then they know what time snack time is and then usually around 8 o’clock to 8:30pm it’s time for everybody to get ready for bed," Tammy said.

John tells us they’re not alone and know of other families raising grandchildren because of the opioid crisis.

“It’s a challenge for grandparents to do this, that’s for sure, especially financially. That’s our problem.

He says they take things day by day, event when it’s a struggle.

“They’re here, they’re safe, they’re taken care of and they’ll be here as long as they need to be," Tammy said.

There are resources available for grandparents raising their grandkids.

Medard's House in New Cumberland holds a support group for grandparents the first Thursday of every month at 7pm.

Contact Angela Cook for more information: or (717) 557-7235

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