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Information For:. Foster/ Adoptive Parents And Other Care Givers. Presented By:. Mike P. McGuire 2 nd Judicial District Department of Correctional Services- Iowa. We Will Cover:. The Impact of Methamphetamine on the Family System.

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information for

Information For:

Foster/ Adoptive Parents


Other Care Givers

presented by

Presented By:

Mike P. McGuire

2nd Judicial District Department of Correctional Services- Iowa

we will cover
We Will Cover:
  • The Impact of Methamphetamine on the Family System.
  • The implications for Foster/Adoptive Parents and Caregivers.
  • Related System Issues.
  • Strategies to Increase Positive Outcomes for Children, Families, and Caregivers.
drugs are a serious problem

6th highest criminal caseload of the 94 districts in the United States

drugs are a serious problem5





Drug Trafficking Cases

Meth Cases

methamphetamine is
Methamphetamine Is:
  • Highly Addictive
  • Initially Very Appealing to Many
  • Initially a Performance Enhancing Drug
  • A Drug That Knows No Boundaries
  • A Drug That Can Severely Impact a Persons Ability to Function Normally and Especially to Parent!
methamphetamine users
Methamphetamine Users:
  • Most Often Have Other Drug History
  • Substance Use Has Started in Adolescence or Before
  • Have Friends and Acquaintances that are Drug Users
  • Rarely Pay for the Drug Initially
  • Usage Often Quickly Escalates “Just Live to Use Meth”
the impact on families
The Impact on Families:
  • Issues of Abuse and Neglect are Significant.
  • The Exposure of Children to Toxins Where Meth is made or Used is a Huge Problem.
  • Infants Who Were Perinatally Exposed Can Have a Wide range of Issues
  • Living Environment is Often Very Poor
  • In Iowa Estimates Are Approximately 50% of Child Welfare Cases are Meth Related*
  • Iowa Dept. of Human Services “Methamphetamine and Child Welfare-Carol Gutchewsky
healthy and troubled families
Healthy Families

Provide Safety


Open communication

Individualized roles


Troubled Families

Safety jeopardized


Closed communication

Family roles



Information from the Children of Alcoholics Foundation

children of meth using parents
Children of Meth Using Parents
  • Are Often in the Caretaker Role
  • Learn Not to Trust
  • Have Issues with Attachment
  • Are Often Exposed to Violence, Drug Sales, Sexual Issues, and Drugs Themselves
methamphetamine exposed infants dr rizwan shah md faap blank children s hospital des moines iowa
Methamphetamine Exposed InfantsDr. Rizwan Shah, MD, FAAPBlank Children’s Hospital-Des Moines, Iowa
  • Symptoms May Vary and Can Be Difficult to Diagnose
  • Treatment Should be Based on Symptoms and Not Merely the Fact that Infant Was Drug Affected
  • May be at Risk for Problems Later in Life
  • Not All Infants/Children Exposed Will Have Problems
Dr. Shah’s Study Included 368 Infants and Children with Methamphetamine Accounting for 76% of the Cases
symptoms of meth exposed infants and children i
Symptoms of Meth Exposed Infants and Children I
  • NB to 4 Weeks (Dopamine Depletion Syndrome)
  • Lethargic-Excessive Sleep
  • Poor Suck and Swallow Coordination
  • Sleep Apnea
symptoms of meth exposed infants and children ii
Symptoms of Meth Exposed Infants and Children II
  • Four Weeks to Four Months Age
  • CNS Immaturity (effects on motor development)
  • Sensory Integration Problems-Tactile, Defensive, Texture Issues
  • Neurobehavioral Symptoms-Interaction-Social Development
symptoms of meth exposed infants and children iii
Symptoms of Meth Exposed Infants and Children III
  • Six Months to Eighteen Months
  • The “Honeymoon Phase”
  • Symptom Free Period
symptoms of meth exposed infants and children iii18
Symptoms of Meth Exposed Infants and Children III
  • Eighteen Months to Five Years
  • Sensory Integration Deficit (same as II)
  • Less Focused Attention
  • Easily Distracted
  • Poor Anger Management
  • Aggressive Outbursts
  • Speech Language and developmental Problems can occur
despite the challenges these kids face
Despite The Challenges These Kids Face:
  • We Must Guard Against Labeling!
methamphetamine and parenting
Methamphetamine and Parenting
  • Understanding the Use of Methamphetamine and Its Various Effects is Helpful in Understanding its Impact on Parenting

Psychological Effects

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Aggressiveness

Behavioral Signs

  • Insomnia
  • Extreme hyperactivity, excessive talkativeness
  • Change in attitude or personality
  • Changes in friends or hiding of associates
  • Change in activities
  • Drop in performance
  • Loss of interest in family
physical signs of use
Physical Signs of Use
  • Weight Loss
  • Darkness Under the Eyes-”Sunken In”
  • Oily hair/Skin
  • Odor
  • Teeth Problems
  • Skin Sores (“Crystal Mites”)
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Can’t Sit Still
the hierarchy of use
The Hierarchy of Use
  • Users Will Frequently Escalate in:
  • How They Use
  • How Much They Use
  • How Frequently They Use
how used
How Used:
  • Drink It
  • Snort It
  • Smoke It
  • Shoot It
not all meth is created equally
Not All Meth is Created Equally
  • Can be significant differences in Purity
  • Powdered Meth vs. Ice or Glass
  • Cutting or “Stepping On It” Changes Purity
issues in foster care and adoption
Issues In Foster Care And Adoption
  • Safety Issues
  • Foster/Adoptive Parents Need Information
  • Training Issues
  • Working With Birth Families
  • Support For Families
  • Relative Caregiver Issues
safety issues
Safety Issues
  • Starts with Making Sure That DEC (Drug Endangered Children) Protocols are Followed
  • National DEC Protocol Offers Guidelines for Decontamination, Evaluation, Treatment, and Placement for Children Found in Drug Labs.
providing information to foster adoptive parents
Providing Information To Foster/Adoptive Parents
  • Foster/Adoptive Parents Want and Need to Know as Much Case History as Possible.
  • This Should Include Information About the Family Background, Degree and Type of Drug Exposure
  • Also, Informing Families as Soon as Possible What is Expected of Them is Vital
families need training
Families Need Training
  • Training Should be Practical, Realistic, and Offer Strategies that Help Families Deal with Drug Affected Kids and Parents
  • Information on Drug Awareness Gives Families a Working Knowledge
  • Training Should Also Address the Effects of Actual, Environmental, and Social Exposure to Drugs.
working with birth families
Working With Birth Families
  • Once Kept Apart in Many States, Foster and Adoptive Parents Are being Asked to do More with Birth Families
  • Working Together Helps to Increase Positive Outcomes for Children and Families
  • Foster/Adoptive Parents Should Receive Specific Training on This Topic.
  • Safety for Families Working with Meth Affected Families Must be a Top Priority!
support for families
Support For Families
  • Many States Have Statewide Foster/Adoptive Parent Support Associations
  • NFPA and NACAC Provide Resources on a National Level
  • Many Local Groups Exist for Families as Well
  • Specialized Support Groups can be Helpful
  • All of These Types of Groups Provide Support, Training, Resources for Families
relative caregiver issues
Relative Caregiver Issues
  • Presents many of the Same Issues that Foster/Adoptive Parents Face-However, Additional Dynamics are Present!
other system issues
Other “System” Issues
  • Child Welfare Systems Often Too Overloaded to Provide Support to Families
  • Issues with “Concurrent Planning” Can be Difficult For Families
  • Lack of Training for System Professionals About Drugs
  • Addicted Parents Trying to “Beat The System” and Kids Being Returned to Unsafe Situations
the time paradox
The “Time Paradox”
  • Clock Starts Ticking When Child Removed
  • Effective Meth Recovery Needs to Be Long term
  • Parents Dealing With Loss, Grief, Recovery Issues, etc.
  • Time Can “Run Out” Before Issues Are Appropriately Dealt With
strategies that can help
Strategies That Can Help
  • Coordinated Efforts That Include Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Working Closely With Child Welfare Agencies
  • Utilizing Treatment Approaches that Offer Long Term Support and Monitoring (i.e. Drug Court)
  • Promoting an Atmosphere of Teamwork Between Foster/Adoptive Families, Birth Families, and Child Welfare Agencies is Best Practice
  • Licensing Practices that Promote Smoother Transitions to Permanency (Dual Licensing)
the iowa foster and adoptive parent association
The Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association
  • Offers Support and Training to Families.
  • Liaison program
  • Adoption Information Specialist
  • FAIR Line
  • Special Activities Throughout the Year
  • 6 Hour Comprehensive Drug Awareness
  • 6 Hour “Working with Birth Families”
  • DEC Training
  • Numerous Other 2-6 Hour Classes for families