- When a child faces the negative effects from a drug addicted parent, social services will step in. In Oneida County, that's happening more often."Last year we had 48 instances where we've had adults have drug test. So far this year through September we've had 80." said Social Work supervisor, Mary Gadzalinski. Those numbers show the increase of child neglect cases which often includes drug abuse.
Not all of the cases include pregnant women, but some do. "In the past year and half we have had to take a couple of pregnant women into custody and get them into a treatment center to safe guard the fetus." Mary Gadzalinski is a supervisor at the Oneida County Department of Social Services. She says they've responded to calls at all hours of the day. It's not just Oneida County experiencing this problem. "I think we're seeing this throughout Northern regions. There's been an increase in the use of Methamphetamine," Gadzalinski said. "There's been an increase in use of Heroin. We've had issues all along with prescription medication. But that seems to have increased as well."Brian Desmond handles the legal work after the cases have gone through social services. "A lot more people in the community are aware of the drug abuse problems that are going on. I don't think it's just our community. I don't want people to get that impression. These cases are on the rise throughout the state and the country." said Desmond. "What I'm hearing from other supervisors in other counties is it seems across the board we're noticing more problems in the northern counties with addictions." Gadzalinski said. Desmond isn't sure if there's a way to prevent child neglection, but he has a few ideas. "Maybe some education, community education keeping kids in school and providing that education there. Through the JR programs and things of that nature; kind of informing people of what the dangers are of doing drugs."
Written By: Shardaa Gray