Parenting Educational Resources
Keeping Families First - The Devastating Effects of Meth Use

Users Not the Only Losers

by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator

This article appears in the July 2005 NEBLINE Newsletter

Devastating Effects of Meth

Meth Production is Toxic to Communities

Rules for Talking to Kids About Drugs

Users Not the Only Losers

Meth destroys not only those who use it, but also the people around them.


Producers and users of methamphetamine many times become so preoccupied with the drug that they neglect their family and children. Impacts on families can include:

Psychological impact

Financial costs

Safety concerns

Rise in domestic disputes and/or domestic violence

Breaks families apart


Children of users often lack necessities such as food, water, shelter and proper medical care. They are at higher risk of:

Physical, sexual and emotional abuse

Delayed speech and language skills

Hyperactivity and attention disorders

Violent behavior

Lack of boundaries/easy attachment to strangers

Other developmental problems

Increased risk for substance abuse in later life


Meth use during pregnancy or while breast feeding can cause major problems for babies. Levels of meth present in breast milk are higher than levels in blood. Infants are at higher risk of:

Premature birth

Birth defects (six times more)

Growth retardation

Withdrawal symptoms, including abnormal sleep patterns, high pitched cry, poor feeding

Sensitivity to stimuli including human touch and regular light

Coordination problems


Nearly 8% of Nebraska’s budget -- over $291 million in 1998 -- is spent on substance abuse** related costs. This does not include local and federal costs. State programs affected include justice, education, health, child/family assistance, mental health/developmental disabilities, public safety and state workforce.

Federal sentences for meth-related drug convictions in Nebraska are five times the national average. In 2002, there were almost 12,000 arrests for drug abuse violations.

Meth addicts commit several crimes each year to support their habit. These crimes range from check forgery, credit card fraud, and identity theft to shoplifting, stealing and assault.

**This includes all drugs, not just meth.


"Methamphetamine — One of Rural Nebraska’s Greatest Challenges" by UNL Extension Educators Sue Brown and Marilyn Fox

“Life or Meth: What’s It Cost?” Midwest HIDTA

“Methamphetamine: Children at Risk” developed by the Kansas Methamphetamine Prevention Project

U.S. Department of Justice

Return for More Parenting Resources - Keeping Families First


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Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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Save A Life by Angie Kassabie

Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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