The Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act of 2007 comes to the floor of the House of Representatives this week. It calls for more research on the environmental and health impacts of former meth labs. Does the danger linger after the lab is gone? I know that it does. And the families affected often need our support for a long time too.
A very brave lady named Charlotte spoke at a briefing we held on the Hill last year, and explained how meth had affected her family, and how it could contaminate homes, as well as lives. She had been jailed for methamphetamine use. Her ex-husband was supposed to be caring for their children, April and Ashley. When the police arrested him for manufacturing meth, the girls got tested too. Ashley, the eldest, had meth in her body. It seeps into everything – furniture, wall paper, carpets, books, everything. And then it seeps into everyone who lives in the house. Her children had to leave behind everything they owned, because everything was contaminated with meth. So when Charlotte’s mother took her granddaughters in, they had nothing – no clothes, no toys, no books… no parents. Grandfamilies like this one know just how important the research proposed in the Act could be.
Charlotte has been clean for three years now, and has her daughters back with her. She is incredibly grateful to her mother for caring for the girls when she wasn’t able to. Now she travels the country telling her story, warning youth groups, supporting prisoners and talking in schools.
Of course, it’s not just meth that can tear a family apart this way – there are as many causes as there are families in need. If you have a story of intergenerational triumph in adversity that you’d like to share, e-mail me.