Children who are living or present at clandestine methamphetamine laboratory sites require immediate attention and care. Interagency protocols should be established in every jurisdiction where clandestine meth labs are found. The teams involved in seizing clandestine methamphetamine laboratories should include, or should have immediate access to, qualified personnel who can respond immediately to the potential health needs of any children who are present or living at the site. Actions should include taking children into protective custody and arranging for child protective services, immediately testing them for methamphetamine exposure, conducting medical and mental health assessments, and ensuring short- and long-term care and followup. A coordinated multidisciplinary team approach is critical to ensure that the needs of meth’s youngest victims are met and that adequate information is available to prosecute child endangerment cases successfully.

Previous Contents Next

Children at Clandestine Methamphetamine Labs: Helping Meth's Youngest Victims
June 2003