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Strategies for Fighting Meth

Protecting Children from Meth
  Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Programs

Recognizing the extraordinary dangers that meth labs pose to children, California officials pioneered special strategies to address these dangers. Taken together, these strategies have come to be known as "drug endangered children" or "DEC" programs.

The critical component of any DEC program is close collaboration among government agencies. Ideally, law enforcement agencies at the state and federal levels and child protection agencies in every jurisdiction should establish protocols for their collaboration and for documenting conditions of child endangerment when a laboratory is seized. Victim service providers, public health and medical professionals, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, child protection workers, and judges must understand the special needs of meth's youngest victims.

Personnel involved in laboratory seizures should include or have ready access to qualified professionals who can respond to the immediate and potential health needs of the children present at these sites. Actions should include taking children into protective custody, arranging for toxicologic urinalysis for methamphetamine and other drugs, conducting comprehensive medical and mental health assessments, and ensuring short- and long-term care and follow-up with a pediatrician.

  Illinois DEC Contact Information

For more information on the Illinois drug endangered children initiative, contact Master Sergeant Bruce Liebe of the Illinois State Police by phone at (217) 785-6623; by e-mail at; or by mail at 500 Iles Park Place, Suite 104, Springfield, Illinois 62703.

  Other Resources

Helping Meth’s Youngest Victims

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children


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