Meth and Substance Abuse Conference

Drug trafficking has been rising in Wyoming.

Meth and heroin remain the two potent drugs seen all the time.

News 13's Tyler Waggenspack attended a meth and substance abuse conference today (Wednesday).

Meth, a highly potent drug that's back in fashion in Wyoming.
Experts from today's meth and substance abuse conference addressed a growing problem, parents who abuse drugs around their children.

"One of the things that we underestimate is what it does to their child's brain and to their mind. There are social and emotional consequences to the child," said Dr. Rick Delaney, a clinical psychologist.

Dr. Delaney has over 40 years of experience dealing with substance abuse. He says kids raised in drug backgrounds develop social problems.

"Kids who come from substance use disorder when they're from a drug-endangered background and so on. What they lack often times is kind of a social intelligence.

But what's staggering about drug related abuse among children are the numbers.

"We have 430,000 kids in foster care mainly because of drug related problems. Homes are broken up over it, marriages, children are often sometimes put in foster care and residential treatment centers. Sometimes there's a termination of parental rights."

But for Wyoming counseling experts, they say therapy can solve that problem.

"We'll do like play time with the parent and the child to help them build that relationship and often times the parent is determined to become substance free so they can take care of their children," said Mary Petersen from the Central Wyoming Counseling Center.

Delaney agrees.

"It helps to have their children also involved in therapy and for the parents to be taking parenting classes."

Delaney also says nearly 3 million children are placed in grandparents' homes each year.

The meth and substance abuse conference continues Thursday at the Ramkota Hotel.