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Mom Does Meth – Saving Tax-Payer Money

posted 10:35 AM EST, Sun January 13, 2008

Although law enforcement has had some success in limiting the domestic production of meth amphetamine, locally made supplies have been easily and fully replaced by Mexican imports, and the troubles of meth continue to pervade - and in parts of society we sometimes wouldn’t expect.

Women on meth represent 47% of residential treatment facility admissions (for women) and the face of the average user is the face of every-women. Although the meth in the trailer park legacy and stigma remains, today's PTA mom is just as vulnerable to experimentation and addiction. Some experts even suggest that moms squeezed between work and family are increasingly experimenting with meth for its energy granting stimulant effects; striving to balance career, kids and home - to do the impossible.

Tragically, what may start as an occasional energy boost too often turns tragic, and with meth's addictive properties, women using meth to be better moms risk compulsive addictions that destroy health, emotional well-being and the ability to effectively parent or bond with children.

Meth addled parenting ability suffers to the point that authorities often intervene, removing children from the household, and incarcerating mothers for drug or neglect offenses.

Yet while the moralists may debate the rightness of such actions, the economists have come to a fairly clear conclusion on current punitive methods.

A recent California study shows that funding long term residential drug treatment for addicted mother's costs tax payers 7 times less than does taking away her children and sending her to jail - 7 times less.

Although critics point to the relatively high recidivism and relapse rates of conventional drug treatment, proponents argue that the economics of a 700% cost savings for drug treatment makes helping moms get better the humane and cost effective way out of a family meth tragedy.

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