The Spinoff Tragedy of Drug Abuse . . . - The Missourian: Opinion

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The Spinoff Tragedy of Drug Abuse . . .

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Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012 5:00 pm

We all know that the use of illegal drugs is one of the great failures of American society. What we don’t always realize is a spinoff from the use of drugs by parents. It’s what it does to their children, innocent victims of drug abusive parents.

We’ve been dealing with this social evil in the Franklin County area for some time. It’s a major issue of trying to care for the children who were being raised in a drug-infested home (really a house since a home generally means a positive environment).

“The number of kids being placed in foster care now is astounding,” according to Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, commander of the county narcotics unit, an arm of the Franklin Ccounty Sheriff’s Department. He told The Missourian that last year between 160 and 180 children had to be removed from dangerous domestic situations by the Division of Family Services (DFS) and placed in foster care.

The number this year is more than 300 children!

That number includes all of the 20th Judicial District, which takes in Franklin, Gasconade and Osage counties. Most are in Franklin County. Most of the children have been taken from their parents due to drug-related activities. Most of the situations involve dangerous chemicals and life-threatening conditions caused by the making of methamphetamine. Also, the use of heroin has increased in this area.

Foundations for Franklin County and the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit have launched another appeal for funds to help with the burden of caring for the children. Officials of these organizations have run out of foster parents. It has come to the point where other family members are being asked to care for the victims. Some of these families have limited resources to take on an extra burden.

Foundations for Franklin County was established in 2011 as a charitable and rehabilitative arm of the drug task force. Money was raised in a campaign. Those funds have about run out. Clothes and toys were collected also. The task of handling and storing the clothes and toys became a problem so at this time only money is being sought.

Checks should be made out to Foundations for Franklin County, and sent to P.O. Box 149, Union, MO 63084.

This is a very worthy cause. A salute is due to the foster parents who are performing a very  humanitarian service. Let’s give applause to the leaders in this crusade also.

Jennifer Slay, prevention coordinator for the narcotics unit, has been named the part-time executive director of Foundations for Franklin County. She may be contacted at 636-239-7652 by anybody who wants to help the Foundation.

It’s bad enough what drug abuse does to adults. But when children are victimized by the actions of parents, that’s one of the worst evils of society today. The Foundation program to help these children deserves all the support we can muster.

/opinion