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NCJ Number: 204475 Find in a Library
Title: Research Overview: Methamphetamine Production, Precursor Chemicals, and Child Endangerment
Author(s): S. Colby Phillips
Date Published: January 2004
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: New Mexico Sentencing Cmssn
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Sale Source: New Mexico Sentencing Cmssn
2808 Central Avenue, SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of the child endangerment issues that arise when children are exposed to the toxic precursor chemicals involved with methamphetamine production.
Abstract: The production and abuse of methamphetamine has become a major public health issue since 1998, when the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy identified methamphetamine as the United State’s primary drug threat. Methamphetamine is easily produced in homemade laboratories using readily available ingredients such as over-the-counter drugs and household chemicals that are easy to transport and difficult to regulate. These methamphetamine precursor chemicals are highly toxic and include pseudoephedrine and ephedrine drug products. Locations for clandestine methamphetamine labs include homes, apartments, motels, rented storage spaces, and personal vehicles. The production of 1 pound of methamphetamine results in 5 to 7 pounds of toxic waste, which is usually dumped down drains or in fields or yards. Methamphetamine production and abuse becomes even more problematic when children are exposed to toxic chemicals and waste. The New Mexico State Police estimate that children are present at 30 percent of the methamphetamine labs they investigate, and the number of children who test positive for toxic levels of chemicals in their systems after exposure to methamphetamine labs is increasing nationwide. Additionally, children who are exposed to, or live in, methamphetamine labs are also at increased risk for physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Many States have passed legislation related to the regulation of the precursor chemicals for methamphetamine production, including Utah, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Dakota. Some States have also passed legislation that increased penalties for adults who endanger children by placing them in close proximity to methamphetamine labs. Another way States are responding to the child endangerment issues that arise as a result of methamphetamine production is to create multidisciplinary teams that can immediately and succinctly address the health and safety of children present at seized methamphetamine labs. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse; Children of drug abusers; Clandestine laboratory enforcement programs
Index Term(s): Chemical irritants; Child neglect causes; Child protection laws; Child protection services; Long term health effects of child abuse; New Mexico
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