Statistics say that roughly 9 million children in the US (nearly 13 percent) live in households where a parent or other adult uses, manufactures, or distributes illicit drugs.
South Carolina’s federal attorney William Nettles joined Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole in Washington Tuesday to focus national attention on the startling statistics.
Nettles said the drug use makes an impact:
If you’re in the household where you’ve got a parent that is addicted to drugs and is making poor lifestyle decisions because of that addition, that is going to adversely effect the child. Period!
Nettles has called upon the Orangeburg community to help his office focus on the issues because he says they have strong community involvement.
It was one of several cities that had the necessary social infrastructure to make this work. Orangeburg has got a strong history of civic involvement. Orangeburg’s got two great universities in town. Orangeburg’s got the necessary hospital, so it’s got the key ingredients to address the problem.
Nettles added that Orangeburg’s problems are not unique and that the problem of drug-endangered children is something that takes place in every county in the state, every state in the union, and probably every country in the world.
In forming the group, Nettles and Cole joined together with federal, state, and local law enforcement. The team also includes a strong contingent of community leaders including educators, ministers, health care professionals, child advocates, victim advocates, and first responders.
We’re not creating any new agencies. What we are doing is taking, some that are governmental agencies, some of them are not governmental, some of them are churches …. and we’re bringing them all to the table and getting them together to work for the common goal.
In 81 percent of the reported cases of child abuse and neglect, substance abuse is rated as either the worst or second worst problem in the home.