Comments Off on Drug-endangered kids focus of conference

EDMOND — Last month, officers arrested two adults and found two children — and allegedly meth — in a car parked at an Edmond 7-Eleven.

In February, Del City police found meth and drug paraphernalia in an RV that had burned; three children died. Two adults have been charged with, among other things, three counts of felony child neglect and possession of meth.

Meth lab seizures dropped significantly between 2004 and 2008 when Oklahoma placed meth’s key ingredient, Pseudoephedrine, inside pharmacies instead of purchasing it over the counter. A new recipe using smaller quantities of Pseudoephedrine let meth cooks get around existing state law.

The number of meth labs seized in the state has risen from 149 in 2007 to 818 in 2010, a statistic likely to be topped again this year, said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. More children also are being endangered, Woodward said.

“Clandestine methamphetamine manufacturing in Oklahoma is rising at an alarming rate,” OBN Director Darrell Weaver said.

That trend and related societal issues have inspired a conference on drug endangered children Thursday and Friday at the Nigh University Center on the University of Central Oklahoma campus.

The OBN is partnering with National Drug Court Institute, the Oklahoma State Health Department & National Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center.

On Thursday, the meth-specific training will focus on managing meth users in the community. Day two will focus on identifying, developing and planning for drug endangered children teams.

Each day, registration will be at 8 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. training session. Space is limited to the first 250 people.

Woodward said individuals from any agency or individual that works as part of a drug court, who works in substance abuse and the mental health field, case managers and first responders are among those who would benefit from attending.

Others include probation officers, child welfare workers, doctors or nurses working as part of child welfare cases, prosecutors, educators and anyone who will be addressing or responding to situations that involve meth or drug endangered children.

Edmond Police spokeswoman Glynda Chu said this type of information is extremely helpful, especially when it is free.

“This is a great opportunity, and we are fortunate to have OBN providing this important training to personnel directly involved with situations where drugs and children and involved,” Chu said.

Woodward said children living in or spending time in places where meth is being made are exposed to toxic chemical contamination as well as the possibility of fire and explosion. Children also are at increased risk for developing serious problems in their own lives including substance abuse problems. Maternal use of meth may result in related issues.

Experts also say children living at meth labs or with meth-using adults are at increased risk for severe neglect, and children may witness violence or be forced to participate in violence.

Other meth associated costs to society include lab clean up and remediation, drug treatment and Oklahoma has lost six law enforcement officers in meth-related incidents since 1999, Woodward said.

http://www.edmondsun.com/local/x1517691557/Drug-endangered-kids-focus-of-conference

Comments are closed.