Children, Families, and the Law, Center on


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Prepared for: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment by National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare.
Report produced under Contract No. 270-02-7108 of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Cherry Choke Road, Rockville, MD 20850. The contents of this report are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of this agency and the collaborating Departments and agencies.


Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant associated with serious health and psychiatric conditions, including heart damage and brain damage, impaired thinking and memory problems, aggression, violence, and psychotic behavior. Methamphetamine is also associated with the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Child welfare workers are seeing growing numbers of children and families affected by the parent’s use of methamphetamine. In order to make sound decisions for the benefit of children and families, child welfare workers need accurate information about methamphetamine, its effects on parents and their children, and the effectiveness of treatment. This paper presents the most current research in these areas, and offers recommendations for child welfare workers to help them identify and assist children and families affected by a parent’s use of methamphetamine.

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