A summit this week looks at the consequences of drug environments on children.
Community professionals are at the Lake of the Ozarks to discuss the effects of drug environments on children, as well as the best ways for the state and local communites to work together.
Shannon Stokes is president of the Missouri Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. She says methamphetamine poses a particular risk to children in Missouri, the focus is on all substance abuse. Meth poses a dangerous and immediate risk to children, she says, but all drug environments can have lasting physical and psychologically damaging effects on children.
She says nationwide, 60 to 80 percent of kids in foster care are there as a result of substance abuse on the part of the family. Other statistics show that one in eight children throughout the U.S. are living in homes where drug abuse occurs.
The summit brings together those from various agencies, including child protection, substance abuse, mental health, law enforcement, health care, juvenile justice and family services.
This summit "is a call to action to address the needxs of drug endangered children, who, through no intent of their own, are caught in these situation," Stokes says.
Speakres include national and local professionals, including Lori Moriarty, executive director fo the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.
Moriarty served as the commander of the North Metro Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional undercover drug unit in Colorado, where she spearheaded efforts for safe removal of children from meth labs. She has educated thousands of professionals nationwide about drug environments and their effects on children.
For more, visit www.mo-dec.org .