Meth's Impact on Children
<<This is the home Sara was rescued from.>>
It had no electricity. No gas. No running water. Rotten food covered the counters and filled the refrigerator. A propane tank sat next to a wood stove pipe - with no firewall protection.
Children like Sara are perhaps the most heart-wrenching victims of Meth abuse and manufacturing. They are sometimes found in homes and other places where Meth and other illegal substances are produced.
Children who live in or visit such clandestine labs face a wide range of health and safety risks, including exposure to toxic chemicals, drugs, contaminated food, fires and explosions. They are also at high risk for abuse and neglect, as well as exposure to firearms and violence.
Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Teams are being developed around South Dakota to coordinate the work of law enforcement, medical services and child protection workers to make sure that children like Sara receive the appropriate attention and care. In communities across the state, DEC teams will be able to respond whenever children are thought to be in a Meth lab situation. While each part of the team has a specific role to play - whether it is collecting and preserving evidence, assessing a child's physical and mental health or ensuring safe care for the youngster - they work together with one goal in mind: Protecting the youngest victims, like Sara.