BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) For the past eight years, Judge John Delaney has worked for Brazos County Child Protection Court.
It wasn’t until recently that he noticed a disturbing trend in his courtroom.
“It’s been only in the last year that I’ve become so acutely aware of the growing impact of methamphetamine use on the child population that we deal with, “ said Delaney, Senior District Judge.
The county has seen an increase in the number of children being taken into state custody due to their parent’s addiction to meth.
“Fifty-percent of all of our cases are caused by parents using meth. It dawned on me that the cases we were seeing surely must be the tip of the iceberg,” said Delaney.
After seeing a rise in these types of cases, he took it upon himself to call for a community meeting. It was attended by other groups of people concerned with the increased drug use.
“We’re tired of hearing meth. We’re tired of hearing it on the news, in the court room, and it’s a hard problem to fix. We need help. We need people to know that it’s affecting children,” said A.J Renold, Executive Director of Voices for Children.
Texas A&M assistant professor Laura Smith also attended the meeting. She says meth users don’t understand that meth can be just as dangerous to their children as it is to themselves.
“There’s not awareness about touching surfaces and the exposures that they get from methamphetamine residues. This is a serious problem with methamphetamine in particular after use or after manufacture of the drug,” said Smith.
Voices for Children, a Bryan child advocacy organization, says more than half of their cases since 2017 are related to meth.
“This judge doesn’t want to take away your children for God sake. We want you to stop causing the problem in the first place,” said Delaney.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has a hotline for anyone to call if they feel a child is in danger. It's (800) 252-5400.