Comments Off on Methamphetamine and the Impact on Nebraska’s foster care system

32–year–old Tiffany Seager is the wife and mother of three.

She loves her family dearly.

Seager is recovering from a drug addiction.

It’s something that almost cost her one of the things she adores the most–her kids.

The state stepped in and took them away because of her drug use in 2014.

“I was addicted to meth. I was at the point where nothing was going to stop me. I was going to keep on using,” Mother Tiffany Seager said.

Meth is having a large impact on Nebraska’s foster care system.

For the first six months of 2017, the foster care review office reported more than 60 percent of children who were taken of out of their homes because of parental drug use.

The office reports about half of those cases were meth related.

Child welfare professionals say the drug has a debilitating effect on users.

They said some of the worst examples of neglect they’ve seen were because of meth.

“During those days of withdrawal, it’s truly withdrawal. Parents will or users will withdrawal to themselves and as a result they don’t pay much attention to other family members including children,” Department of Health and Human Services Children and Family Services Director Doug Weinberg said.

Seager said at the time she lost her kids to the state, she was at a really low point in her addiction.

She was smoking meth from the time she woke up to the time she passed out.

She said she spent about a couple 100 dollars a week on the drug.

The mom said she finally hit rock bottom.

That’s when Seager had to make a big choice.

So, she decided to get clean and she began that road April 2015.

Prior to that, the state stopped her from seeing her kids because of her behavior like missing scheduled visits.

She said not seeing them made the fight harder.

“It was like what I was even fighting for. I was getting clean and not seeing my kids,” Seager said.

The Department of Health and Human Services said while this is a growing problem, the state doesn’t have a shortage for potential foster care homes.

There is also hope for parents battling to kicking the habit.

The department said about 33 percent of children, who were removed from homes because of parental drug abuse, is reunited with their families within a year.

Professionals said early intervention is key.

They said if you see something that could endanger a kid’s life, you should say something.

“We can make a difference, but early intervention is the doorway,” CEDARS President/CEO Jim Blue said.

Now, Seager has her babies back in her loving arms.

She was reunited with her kids a week before Thanksgiving in 2015.

This is her second time battling a meth addiction.

Currently, she’s more than two years clean.

Seager encourages any parent struggling with drugs to get help.

She said she doesn’t want to put her family through that type of pain again.

The mom said her loved ones are what motivate her to stay clean.

“I’m grateful I still have my family after what I put them through, so that right there is hope that there is life after addiction,” Seager said.

Remember, if you know a child is not in a safe situation, you need to report it.

The Child and Abuse Neglect hotline is  1–800–652–1999.


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