Officials In Kosciusko County Seek Public's Help In Saving Kids From Meth Danger

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 13, 2012 Updated Dec 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM EDT

WARSAW, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- In Kosciusko County, meth is putting so many children in peril that sheriff's officials and the Indiana Department of Child Services are asking for the public's help in cracking down on the problem.

The DCS says of the roughly 30 child abuse and neglect cases in Kosciusko County in a given year, close to half, in some way, involve methamphetamine.

John asked that we not use his last name.

He's living in a transitional housing center in Warsaw.

He got there by getting hooked on meth, then cooking up and dealing the stuff.

" It was all downhill from there. It completely took over my life. I lost jobs, a house, vehicles."

It was not only hard on him, but on his young son too.

John fought to get visitation rights, but when the boy came to stay the night, it often didn’t turn out right.

" I would put him to bed, have somebody listen for him or whatever, and I would just disappear all night long. Come back maybe in the morning, maybe."

Kosciusko County Sheriff's officials say that in about ten percent of the county's meth investigations, children are found in the home.

" We have officers that will actually go up to a residence suspected of meth usage, and will be overcome by the actual fumes,” said Sgt. Chad Hill, with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office.

“ As we enter into the dwelling to get everybody out, we find children living in the residence, completely oblivious to what is actually going on, they're so used to the fumes."

Hoss Smith, who runs a Serenity House recovery facility, says local judges are embracing the rehab programs he supervises, because they're freeing some offenders from the clutches of meth.

Hoss knows full well the need to get the public's help in rescuing kids from exposure to meth and its many hazards.

" Dad and mom ignore them constantly, because the drug takes over their life," Smith said.

Meanwhile, “John” has signed a plea agreement that includes treatment through Serenity House.

It’s a deal that could keep him out of prison altogether.

His could be one of the success stories regarding a drug that doesn't pay attention to the age or innocence of its victims.

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