Meth Cases Coming To Dominate Child-Protection Dockets


For a premature son of a woman addicted to methamphetamine, Logan Meir of suburban Minneapolis was coming along pretty well, reports the Associated Press. Doctors treating his underdeveloped palate had removed the tracheal tube he was breathing through and had sewn up the hole. One of several meth-related cases handled one day by Anoka County, Mn., Judge Jenny Walker Jasper, it illustrated the fact that meth has become a huge issue in child protection cases anywhere the drug has invaded. “There is no drug better suited to making horrible decisions about your children than methamphetamine, which keeps you awake for days and then when you crash it’s like the sleep of a coma, during which you have no idea what’s happening with those kids,” said Roger Munns of Iowa’s Department of Human Services.

A recent survey by the National Association of Counties said 40 percent of child welfare officials in 13 states reported increased out-of-home placements because of meth in the past year. Some Minnesota judges say as much as 80 percent of their child protection caseload is meth-related. On a recent day in Walker Jasper’s courtroom, all but a handful of the 30 child protection cases on her docket involved meth. “It’s pervasive around the country,” said Laura Birkmeyer, chair of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and executive assistant U.S. attorney for San Diego. “Every state that is seeing a large increase in methamphetamine manufacturing is seeing the concomitant problem of drug-endangered children.”


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