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Angels in Black - A child living in a Meth Lab
The Angels in Black

I sit all alone in my room but I no longer cry
It doesn’t matter much to mom and dad who only care
about getting high.
I don’t go to school much these days, I’m sick, hungry and
it’s hard for me to breathe
No one cares about the things I really need
Dad cooks things in my house but it’s not for us to eat
It burns my lungs and my skin and its hard for me to see
Why does no one hear me?  Why does no one care?
My mom and dad don’t love me back, and I don’t think that’s fair.
Then one night I hear the sounds as the door comes crashing down
Mom and Dad rush to hide the things I know they don’t want found
My mom and dad are on the floor, their hands behind their back
The men all have guns and helmets, and they are all dressed in black
They move from room to room as they continue to yell ‘Police!’
I am very scared as I fall upon my knees
Then one of them looks down at me and he can tell
I’m a child in need
He puts the gun away as he reaches down to me
He picks me up from the floor that has become my bed
The hand that held the gun, now gently holds my head
I can only see his eyes but they look so very sad
I wonder if he has a Child like me, I wish he were MY dad
He rushes me from my house to an ambulance on the street
His eyes fill up with tears as he lays me on the seat
I now have good clothes to wear and good food to eat
I can breathe good again and it’s not hard for me to see
I know now there is a God because when
I prayed he sent an answer back
For the men who came to rescue me are really
The Angels in Black

Author Unknown
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Dangers to Children Living in Meth Homes/Labs

Chemical Contamination

*Exposure to toxic chemicals via fumes, vapors, spills
*child may inhale, swallow or have accidental skin prick from drug
paraphernalia
*absorb through the skin from contaminated surfaces, clothing, or food
Low level exposure may cause
*Headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue
High levels of exposure may cause
*Shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, dizziness,
lack of coordination, eye and tissue irritation, chemical  burns (to skin,
eyes, mouth, nose) and death.
Chronic exposure to chemicals in a meth lab may cause:
*cancer, damage to the brain, liver, kidney, spleen, and immune
system, and birth defects

Fires and Explosions

*15% of meth labs are discovered as a results of fire or explosion
* Careless handling and overheating of highly volatile hazardous
chemicals and waste and unsafe manufacturing methods cause these
solvents to burst into flames or explode
*Highly combustible materials left on stovetops, near ignition sources, or
on surfaces where children can reach can easily ignite.

Abuse and Neglect

*Severe Neglect, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
*Parents become careless, irritable, and violent
*Failure of parents to protect their child’s safety, to provide essential
food, dental, and medical care (including immunizations, proper hygiene,
and grooming)
*Older sibling assume caretaker roles
*Children further traumatized by witnessing violence, being forced to
participate in violence, caring for a parent or sibling, or watching the
police arrest and remove a parent

Hazardous lifestyle and living conditions

*Explosives and booby traps found at meth labs
*loaded guns or other weapons
*substandard housing
-children may be electrocuted or shocked by exposed wiring or from
unsafe electrical equipment
*poor ventilation from sealed windows (sealed to prevent telltale odors
from escaping) increase the risk of combustion and the dangers of
inhaling toxic fumes
*Meth homes often lack heating, cooling, legally provided electricity,
running water, or refrigeration
*Infestation with rodents and insects (cockroaches, fleas, ticks, and lice)
*Rotten food around house, used needles and condoms strewn about,
dirty dishes, dirty clothes and garbage.
*Toilets and bathtubs may be backed up or unusable (sometimes
because the cook has dumped corrosive by products into the plumbing)
*Inability of meth-dependent parents to function as competent caregivers
increases the likelihood that a child may be accidentally injured or will
ingest drugs and poisonous substances.
*baby bottles may be stored among toxic chemicals
*hazardous meth chemicals may be stored in 2-liter coke bottles, juice
bottles, and pitchers found in the refrigerator
*Ashtrays and drug paraphernalia (razor blades, syringes, and pipes)
found within a child’s reach
*Infants are found with meth powder on their clothes, bare feet, and toys

***These health hazards in meth homes from unhygienic conditions,
needle sharing, and unprotected sexual activity may include Hepatitis A,
B, & C, E.Coli, Syphilis, and HIV!

Social Problems

*Stress and trauma can significantly affect their overall safety and
health, including their behavioral, emotional, and cognitive functioning.
*They often exhibit: -Low self-esteem, a sense of shame, and poor social
skills-  *resulting in emotional and mental health problems, delinquency,
teen pregnancy, school absenteeism and failure, isolation, and poor
peer relations and without proper interventions they risk becoming adults
engaging in criminal or violent behavior, inappropriate conduct, and
alcohol or drug abuse.

Other Risks

*Dangerous animals to protect illegal meth labs pose added physical
hazards to these children
*Exposure to pornographic materials or overt sexual activity
*Others may even be involved in the manufacturing process without
protective equipment