If this isn't a wake-up call that we need to do something about the meth problem in this country, I don't know what is. In Memphis police found a working meth lab in a 2-year-old girl's bedroom -- right under the bed in which she was sleeping.
According to WREG, someone tipped police off that they suspected a meth lab had been set up in the home. When police arrived, they could smell the telltale scent of methamphetamine being cooked. When they went inside, they found the lab -- right there underneath where the little girl lay sleeping. It was reportedly a "shake and bake" meth lab, which is a "dangerous method of cooking the already toxic drug". So toxic that the girl had to be decontaminated by fire crews.
I've seen enough reports to know that this drug makes people desperate, but my God, this is horrific. With an entire house, why would they choose to put these notoriously dangerous chemicals in the girl's bedroom? In the same house is bad enough, but right under her bed? The things that could have happened to her are too horrific to even contemplate.
The girl's father, Matthew Richardson, and mother, Amanda Elrod, were arrested and charged with manufacturing meth. So far, however, only Richardson has been charged with aggravated child abuse. I would argue that they both should be charged with it, and then some. They clearly aren't fit to be parents if they willingly put their child in this kind of danger.
While this is an extreme example of the things this drug drives people to do, across the country and around the world, there are way too many others that happen every day. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2009, 1.2 million Americans age 12 and older had abused the drug at least once in the prior year. It's being produced in homes across the country, and while some progress has been made in stopping it, it's still happening, and it needs to stop. Fortunately this time the little girl wasn't hurt, but there will be a next time, and anything could happen.
What do you think should happen to this couple who put a working meth lab under their daughter's bed?
Image via WREG