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Meth-Related Child Abuse Cases on the Rise?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 18, 2011 9:50 AM

With a number of recent high-profile meth-related child abuse cases, one has to question whether more and more children are being abandoned, neglected, and exposed to dangerous substances as a result of parent/guardian meth use.

For instance, last month, a couple pled not guilty to charges of child endangerment after failing to take their infant daughter to the hospital when she drank meth-laced orange juice.

Another couple was arrested in July after their 3-year-old granddaughter had gotten a hold of a 9-mm pistol. They were under the influence of methamphetamine.

Then, last week, a woman facing drug charges for manufacturing meth was arrested again for child neglect after police found her toddler wandering the streets.

Are these stories a sign of a new trend?

The truth is that meth-related child abuse is actually not a new phenomenon.

Coinciding with the uptick in meth usage during the 1990's, in 2003, the Office of National Drug Control Policy began the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) movement as an attempt to deal with the corresponding increase in the number of children found in meth labs across the country.

It's undeniable that, in some states, there has been an increase of arrests made as a result of methamphetamine in the home.

Last year, Iowa reported an increase in meth lab-related child abuse cases. And, as far back as 2005, Washington reported a yearly increase in kids found in meth labs.

However, it's unclear why states are reporting such an increase.

While it could be linked to an increased usage in meth use, it could also be linked to law enforcement awareness and inter-agency cooperation.

Regardless of whether such instances are increasing or not, meth-related child abuse affects thousands upon thousands of kids every day, making it an important part of the fight against drugs and abuse.

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