Growing Up with Meth: Social Problems
Children growing up in the chaos, neglect, and violence of a clandestine Meth lab environment experience stress and trauma that significantly affect their overall safety and health, including their behavioral, emotional, and mental functioning. They often exhibit low self-esteem, a sense of shame, and poor social skills. Consequences may include emotional and mental health problems, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school absenteeism and failure, isolation, and poor peer relations. Without effective intervention, many will imitate their parents and caretakers when they themselves become adults, engaging in criminal or violent behavior, inappropriate conduct, and alcohol and drug abuse.
Many children who live in drug homes exhibit an attachment disorder, which occurs when parents or caretakers fail to respond to an infant’s basic needs or do so unpredictably. These children typically do not cry or show emotion when separated from their parents. Symptoms of attachment disorder include the inability to trust, form relationships, and adapt. Attachment disorders place children at greater risk for later criminal behavior and substance abuse. To minimize long-term damage, children from these environments require mental health interventions and stable, nurturing caregivers.
Dept. of Justice OVC