Growing Up with Meth: Abuse and Neglect
Children growing up in a home where Meth is produced and used face an increased risk for abuse and neglect. Parents who are low intensity abusers continue to function, but experience mood swings. When high, they feel good, are active and get things done but they can be impatient and irritable. When the drug's effects wear off they sleep for long periods, leaving children to fend for themselves.
Chronic abusers suffer impaired cognitive functioning. They are often sexually promiscuous and multiple partners are common. They can be volatile and impulsive; domestic violence is common. Chronic Meth abusers tend to expose their children to various other users and leave children home alone for extended periods.
According to the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, children living in Meth lab homes are more likely to be physically and sexually abused by members of their own family and other individuals at the site. Parents and caregivers who are Meth dependent often lose their capacity to nurture their children. In these situations, the failure of parents to protect their children’s safety and to provide for essential food, dental and medical care (including immunizations, proper hygiene, and grooming), and appropriate sleeping conditions is the norm. Some addicted parents fall into a deep sleep for days and cannot be awakened, further increasing the likelihood that their children will be exposed to toxic chemicals in their environment and to abusive acts committed by the other drug-using individuals who are present.
Dept. of Justice OVC