|April 22, 2014
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—April 23rd is National Drug Endangered Children Awareness Day, and Attorney General Pam Bondi and Florida Surgeon General Dr. John H. Armstrong encourage Floridians to help identify and protect drug endangered children. The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children defines drug endangered children as children who are at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm as a result of illegal drug use, possession, manufacturing, cultivation, or distribution. They may also be children whose caretaker’s substance misuse interferes with the caretaker’s ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment. The State of Florida is dedicated to protecting drug endangered children.
Attorney General Bondi established the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns to address the growing issue of women abusing prescription drugs while pregnant, and, as one result of the group’s work, the Department of Children and Families and Attorney General Bondi’s Office launched the Born Drug Free Florida campaign to educate expectant mothers about prescription drug abuse and to provide assistance. More information is available here: BornDrugFreeFL.org. Additionally, Floridians can join the effort to stop prescription drug abuse by disposing of unnecessary prescription drugs they have in their homes by participating in National Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, April 26.
“No child should have to suffer through the horrible experience of drug abuse by those who are supposed to be their caregivers. Everyone from community members to law enforcement must band together to protect drug endangered children, and I will remain relentless in my efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens—babies and children—from the devastating effects of drug abuse,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
“Every child deserves to be safe from environments of drug abuse,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “The Department is committed to collaborating with public and private partners to educate parents, protect children and make our communities safer.”
Breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect begins with identifying drug endangered children and recognizing the dangers they face. Drug endangered children are victims who need intervention from caring adults for their survival and well-being. Social service and child welfare experts can help provide referrals to services and programs. Law enforcement can intervene when there is evidence of neglect or abuse. Collaborative responses between law enforcement and child welfare can reduce trauma and help build resiliency in children.
The Florida Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (Florida DEC) is comprised of individuals and organizations concerned about children endangered by caregivers who manufacture drugs, deal drugs or use them and, by doing so, physically or psychologically imperil children. Florida DEC firmly believes that by changing the conditions in which drug endangered children live from hazardous to hopeful environments, these children will prosper. Florida DEC urge everyone in a community to practice vigilance in rescuing, defending, sheltering and supporting children who may be endangered and to develop programs to serve the needs of these child victims. The 2014 National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Conference, will be held October 7-9 in Lake Buena Vista, FL, and Floridians can register today.