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Parental drug use as child abuse

Child Welfare Information Gateway – 2012

An overview of state statutes addressing substance abuse by parents and other caregivers. Notes that the two main areas of concern are prenatal drug exposure and exposure to illegal drug activity in the home. Describes how the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires states to notify child protective services of substance-exposed newborns, and to establish safe care plans for these infants. Discusses the problem of children’s exposure to parents or other family members who abuse drugs and alcohol, or who are engaged in illegal drug activity, such as the manufacture of methamphetamine in home-based labs. Notes that laws addressing this issue cover such situations as children exposed to drug manufacturing, precursor chemicals and equipment, drug trafficking, and drug use. In many states, the manufacture or possession of meth in the presence of a child is a felony. Bulk of document is an alphabetical listing of applicable state statutes that address child abuse, neglect, and endangerment related to prenatal exposure, substance abuse, and exposure to illicit drug activity (particularly the manufacture of methamphetamine).