MUHLENBERG, Ky. (8/19/13) – In week 4 of an ongoing series of informative meth-related articles supplied by Muhlenberg County Sheriff Curtis McGehee, the topic for discussion is how Meth usage and manufacturing affects local children.
Some have expressed concerns during the past couple of years that perhaps all the talk about meth is overkill. Some think it is an isolated issue; others tend to feel that is limited to certain social or economic sectors of the community. Others simply believe that it is not a big deal at all.
Meth is a big deal, and no one in the community is left unaffected by the epidemic, as it has deeply penetrated our county. I can assure you that in some way this drug touches your life. It may be because of the economic consequences, the environmental issues, or perhaps this evil drug has touched you in a more personal way; but in one way or another we are all impacted by methamphetamine.
People suffer in many different ways as a result of methamphetamine use. Children are no exception; the life of a child who lives in an environment where meth is used or made, is in great danger.
Unfortunately many children in rural communities everywhere are being exposed to the horrors of the “meth world.” This is true, even in our own community.
It is difficult to put into words just what a child faces, when exposed to methamphetamine, whether they are directly or indirectly exposed.
The life of a meth user is very unstable. The user may go days without sleep or food. When the user crashes (comes down from the high) he or she may sleep for days. Of course, a young child that has a parent that has been asleep for several days is at a high risk of neglect. Lack of food, lack of sleep, and lack of care in general are all common in homes where meth is used. There are other dangers that the child may be exposed to as well. Often meth users have friends that are coming in and out of the house that are questionable in character, making the child vulnerable to abuse.
It is not uncommon for the user to experience stages of delirium. When this happens, the addict could even become confused about the identity of the child, or even worse - the user could become convinced, in their mind, that their own child is an intruder or an enemy, making the child the object of physical abuse or even death.
Paranoia, violence and long lasting rages are just part of what might be going on at certain times in the life of the addict. When a parent is unable to control their anger, or becomes prone to violence, the safety of their child is greatly compromised.
When the drug is being manufactured in the home; there are additional risks. Some of the chemicals being used go airborne, massing in porous materials. For example clothes, carpet, furniture and other items may become contaminated. When a child makes contact with these items, and when they are confined to this kind of setting, the child may become contaminated with meth themselves. In fact, some experts feel that up to 50% of children living in homes where meth is being manufactured may test positive for methamphetamine.
The madness must stop, and as previously reported, we must combine our efforts as a community to address this crisis!
Here’s how you may help:
1. If you suspect a child may be exposed to a methamphetamine environment, please report it promptly.
2. If you suspect illegal drug activity, please report that promptly as well.
3. Learn everything you can about this drug and its influence on our community.
4. Get involved in community projects, especially those relating to children or neighborhood safety.
5. In a future article, I will discuss in more detail the advantages of community involvement.
To report illegal drug activity in Muhlenberg County, please call Central Dispatch at 338-2000. To remain anonymous please call 1-888-9ky-tips. You may also report tips online anonymously at www.muhlenbergcountysheriff.com.
Click Here to read the part 1 in this series.
Click Here to read the part 2 in this series.
Click Here to read the part 3 in this series.
Click Here to read the part 4 in this series.
Information provided by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
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