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Methamphetamine use in Arkansas tied to problems in states child welfare system

A recent report by a non-profit children’s advocacy group has found that there is a lack of good information to determine the effects of methamphetamine on Arkansas’s child welfare system.

Methamphetamine “is seen as the leading cause of all the problems that plague the child welfare system and is considered a significant factor and something that has to be addressed, but you can’t prove that,” said Paul Kelly, senior policy analyst with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. “With all the public attention on it, is that warranted, and, should we be focusing on methamphetamine or should we be focused on substance abuse?” he said.

The report by the AACF did find that meth was one of the drugs abused by adults that harm children.

According to the study, pregnant mothers are more likely to test positive for cocaine and amphetamines. The study, “Poison, Problem and Perspective: the Impact of Methamphetamine on Arkansas Child Welfare System,” also found that in 2004, parental substance abuse surpassed parents going to jail as the most prevalent factor for placing children in foster care.

Kelly said this is troubling because there is a shortage in Arkansas of substance abuse treatment for women and children.

Arkansas is widely believed to have a statewide problem with methamphetamine abuse and with the lack of good treatment available this will continue to be an issue.

What do you think? Should the focus in Arkansas be on methamphetamine or substance abuse in general?

Article by Eric

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