County blames meth for foster care jump

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DANIELSVILLE, Ga. --- Twice as many Madison County children could land in foster care this year, a trend social workers say is driven by the scourge of methamphetamine addiction.

The county already has placed 23 children in foster care this year compared with 24 children in all of last year, said Lisa Plank, the director of the Department of Family and Children Services for Madison and Oglethorpe counties. Those numbers don't include children who were placed with a relative.

"It's something we're seeing all over Georgia," Ms. Plank said. "Meth is such a difficult habit to kick that parents are getting to the point that they're losing their child and everything else as well."

Last year, Madison County DFACS investigated 434 reports of child abuse and neglect, Ms. Plank said, and most were about parents' drug addictions or domestic violence.

In the past few years, more than two-thirds of Georgia's family and children service agencies have had to provide additional training to employees to deal with the effects of meth use, according to the Georgia Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office breaks up a lot fewer meth labs today than it did two years ago, but meth addiction still is a problem in the rural county, Sheriff Clayton Lowe said.

On average, deputies make two to three arrests each week for possession of meth and in many cases, children are involved, Sheriff Lowe said.

"A lot of times, the parents don't give the children the attention they deserve because they have other things on their minds," he said. "We've seen times when the parents just put the kid outside to play and never check on them again. Or the homes have been found in disarray."

Prescription medication is becoming the drug of choice in Madison County, Sheriff Lowe said. He worries deputies will soon start to see more children taken from their homes because their parents are too addicted to painkillers to take care of them.

Children of addicts must travel for court appointments and counseling, said Gary Locke, a Madison County DFACS board member, which leaves foster parents to deal with high gasoline costs. Mr. Locke recently asked county commissioners for an extra $6,000 to offset fuel costs, a request they approved.

Ms. Plank said the county is seeing more siblings put in foster care together, meaning more children to take to appointments. Foster parents will be allowed a fuel budget of $50 per month per child, she said.

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ishefa
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ishefa 06/15/08 - 09:52 am
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Unfortuantely, I do not see

Unfortuantely, I do not see an end to this problem. With the easy access to perscription drugs on the interent, the rate of addiction will only increase, and treatment will become far too costly and difficult. The stict monitoring of over the counter meds will not work as well. There are just far too many places one can obtain these meds. Many people are suffering personally and financially, and lack the coping skills to handle theirs and their children's lives in this shifting New World Order. The industries that once helped sustain these rural commuities have left for an endless supply of overseas cheap labor, with few laws to oversee them. This is almost tentamount to American slavey in reverse. Slavery kept millions of poor unemployed, now foregin labor and out-sourcing abroad is doing the same, with no relief in sight.

WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 06/15/08 - 10:16 am
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pofwe

pofwe

motivatedinhepzibah
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motivatedinhepzibah 06/15/08 - 03:24 pm
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Meth is probably stronger

Meth is probably stronger than crack. And meth is the number 1 drug in america at this time. Its taking over rural and trailer park america. And even making its way into some of the suburbs. Just look at ga, sc, west va, kentucky, penn, oregon, montana, iowa, south and north dakota, and ohio.

battlecataclysmic
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battlecataclysmic 06/15/08 - 04:10 pm
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Meth addiction is definitely

Meth addiction is definitely a problem. But perhaps we should look at the further indications: when a society is so fast-paced that everyone resorts to drugs--- legal, illegal, illicit, over-the-counter, prescription, back-alley, etc.--- in order to cope, then we don't have a drug problem, we have a LIFESTYLE problem. God never meant for us to live lives where we have to kill ourselves just to live. This isn't "protestant work ethic" we're talking about here; this is the love of money infringing on our lives as human beings. And it's pushing us past our limits and making us do things that we know we shouldn't do! Drugs are evil, but how much more evil is a system that makes hard-working people feel they NEED them to maintain their sanities!

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