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Child abuse and foster care admissions increase when parents use methamphetamines
Date:7/2/2012

returned to their pre-restriction level. The 1997 regulation had a smaller but more sustained effect on priceslasting approximately a year.

"Public health professionals have observed these large social costs of methamphetamine production and use," Finlay said. "Our paper is one of the first to provide plausible causal evidence of these effects that are not borne by users but by children."

The study used foster care enrollment data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), a federally mandated database that aggregates detailed case information on each child in foster care and each child who has been adopted under the authority of all state child welfare agencies. AFCARS also indicates whether a child was removed as a result of neglect, physical abuse, parental drug use or parental incarceration.

The U.S. foster care population increased from approximately 280,000 to 408,000a rise of over 45 percent due primarily to increased admissions in the 1980s and 1990s. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, from 1986 to 2010, there was a stark increase in the foster care population from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s caused by a rapid growth in entry with no associated uptick in exit.

From August 1995 to December 1995, white meth treatment self- admissions fell 26.5 percent due to the 1995 ephedrine regulation. The drop was temporary since drug producers substituted pseudoephedrine and meth self-admissions grew 25.6 percent from December 1995 to February 1998. That growth caused 2,257 children to enter foster care, according to the researchers.

"Given the large social costs of meth use on child maltreatment, policymakers face a significant challenge to reduce its use," Cunningham said. "Regions with intensive meth use should consider greater resources for meth treatment and child welfare services. These areas have historically been rural or exurban and so may already be underser
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Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz
Frank_raczkiewicz@baylor.edu
254-710-1964
Baylor University
Source:Eurekalert

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