Meth One Year Later Part 2-What is Meth Costing Our Communities? The Ripple Effect.

There is no doubt that with meth use there is a cost and consequence for the individual using it. What is frequently overlooked, however, is that the costs and consequences from their use are not exclusive to the user. The impact on families, friends and communities make up what we refer to as the Ripple Effect. Within this Ripple Effect we can measure certain costs on agencies and organizations, for instance, property crimes.  What this means is that this article can only reflect those measurable impact costs. Thus, the price of something like the emotional impact to a child or the family is not an instance that can have a dollar amount assigned to it.

Measurable Impact Costs:

  • April 2017: 27 kids in placement; 17 are due to meth; 8 in relative care and the rest are in county licensed foster care.
  • August 2016 –March 2017: 19 kids were follicle tested; of these 19, 13 tested positive for meth exposure, due to parental use; 10 of those 13 are in out of home placement; the remainder are with a protective parent. NOTE: Follicle tests cost $2,300.00 each.
  • 2016 to date:  33 meth specific cases have been received; 20 of these cases are open for child protective service investigations. This represents a 60% screen in rate.  NOTE: The state average is 30 to 35.
  • Total placement cost of these children averages $70,000 a month. NOTE: That is $840,000 a year.
  • 40% of all ongoing Child Protective Service cases are meth related.
  • In 2016 there were 41 meth arrests in Burnett County.
  • There was $439,000 reported in property crimes in Burnett County.
  • There were 15.12 grams seized for 2016. NOTE: That is about one pound.
  • In 2016 there were 298 treatment days for residential placement. An increase of 67% from the previous year.
  • In 2016, 356 calls were made to the crisis line; of those, 50% were related to substance abuse; 15% of those cases were methamphetamine.