Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly addictive drug that has destroyed countless lives. Many people know about the physical affects that meth can cause: how it can seem to quickly age a person and leave sores on his or her face. It is also well known that meth is a difficult addiction to break, and that people can become addicted after the first use. Meth can also make a parent lose their children. I recently learned of a meth user who will probably lose her children because of her addiction. I will call her Sue (all names in this story have been changed).
Sue, addicted to meth, was unable to afford the rent to her modest home. Both her and her family were evicted and had to live in their car. They were receiving food from kind neighbors who didn’t want to see her kids starve.
Sue decided that she wanted to get clean. She asked a complete stranger, Ella, if she would take care of her children while she was in rehab. The only thing that Sue knew about Ella was that she went to church. Ella decided to help.
When the kids arrived at Ella’s house, their hair was matted. It hadn’t been brushed in days. It is doubtful that they had been eating on a regular basis; Top Ramen seemed like a treat to them. They had flip flops and the clothes on their back. Although Ella had few resources of her own, she decided to find clothes for them.
Sue’s Chances of Getting Her Kids Back
Child Protective Services became involved in this case. Sue’s children remain in Ella’s care, as there are no other family members that have the means or desire to care for them. Although Sue seemed determined to get off meth when she initially lost her home, she is no longer in rehab. In order to get her kids back, she will have to fulfill several conditions, including getting clean, getting a job, and obtaining a place for her and her kids to stay. If she is unable to do this, she will permanently lose rights to her kids, and her children could be adopted by someone else.
Unfortunately, many meth users who have their children taken away will never be able to get them back. It is very difficult to break the meth addiction; even after two years of being off meth, recovering meth addicts can still be lured by the drug. The amount of parents on meth is increasing. Methamphetamine use is causing the need for foster and adoptive parents to rise. It is estimated that 15 percent of children entering the foster care system in North Dakota have meth-addicted family members.
Meth is not a drug to play with. There are many reasons to avoid it. Losing your children to someone that is practically a stranger to you is only one of the problems you may face.
Riggs, Diane. “Meth Gives Rise to a New Tide of Child Endangerment.”