The State of Iowa unveiled a new campaign to get people to look for signs of kids who may face all kinds of troubles from drug use in their homes. State Drug Czar Gary Kendall says the campaign features newspaper, TV and radio ads designed to make people aware of drug endangered kids — kids growing up in homes where parents are making, selling or using drugs.
Kendall says the ads direct people to a website in an effort to create a public awareness of the problem. Kendall says the website gives information on how to identify the problem tells you how to report it so the kids can be checked out by professionals “before it’s too late.”
Lieutenant Governor Patti Judge says a coalition of service provider, businesses and government agencies are supporting the “ Drugs Hurt Kids ” campaign. Judge says drug making, drug dealing and drug use are not victimless crimes, “Unfortunately the most vulnerable, and the oft times forgotten victims of these acts, are children.” Judge says in 2005 the Department of Human Services reported 128 kids abuse by being exposed to the illegal drug methamphetamine.
Judge says that number is down 57-percent due to the crackdown in meth labs in Iowa, but Judge says too many Iowa kids are still being exposed to toxic chemicals and gases. Judge says kids don’t have to live in a meth house to be subject to drug abuse. Judge says the state has been very aggressive in combating the use of meth, but she says alcohol is still the number one drug that’s abused. Judge says this campaign is simple.
Judge says: “The message is one that we want to convey to all Iowans. It’s very simple. Drugs are dangerous, child abuse is intolerable. If you suspect illegal drug activity with innocent children present, report it immediately. Your intervention may very well save a child’s life.” The program was paid for by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and Principal Financial.