This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Meth Kids, A Cry For Help (Oregon)

Methamphetamine use has reached epidemic proportions here in Southern Oregon and across the nation. But the youngest members of our community are those that are being affected the most by methamphetamine use.

The number of crimes being committed associated with methamphetamine and the number of families being affected is on the rise. But those families being torn apart are the latest victims of the addiction as the epidemic continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

Meet Dalana, Amanda, Nicole, and Sarah. All four of these women are mothers, and all four of them have had their families torn apart due to their methamphetamine addictions.

Amanda Krug is a Co-facilitator at Ontrack and a recovering addict. "I started using when my son was three months old he was my first child and in the beginning you believe you are being a better mother, your house is spotless, your baby is well cared for, and then everything that seems to be working for you just turns against you."

These are just some of the women that are attending weekly meetings at Ontrack, a substance abuse treatment facility in downtown Medford. Many of these women say that much of their drug addiction is a trickle down effect from their families, where drug abuse was a part of their up bringing and that meth use became more than an addiction, it became a lifestyle.

Dalana McCalister is a recovering user. "I never knew there was another way to live until I came here and saw that I didn't have to be that person anymore."

Meth use affects adults of all ages but its youngest victims are the children and those children not only lose their families but they also lose their homes. James and Catherine Pearson have been foster parents here in Southern Oregon for the last three years. It has been their experience that children that are removed from homes with a methamphetamine problem are often victims of unsanitary and unsafe conditions. And upon arriving in foster care their understanding of normal family life needs a lot of attention.

"When they come into foster care they can see not everybody smokes these drugs or not everybody is using foul language or involved in criminal activities, they can see a healthy more positive way to live."

But that healthy and more positive way to live provided by foster homes is at a premium these days in Oregon.

Penny Esser is a Foster parent Recruitment and Retention Specialist. "In 2001, we were placing about 17 children in foster care a month that was the average, and in 2005 we placed 48 children per month on average in foster care and so you can see it's exploded."

The Pearsons say, "The need for foster parenting has sky rocketed, however not many parents know they could offer a bed to the child in need."

Law enforcement officials see the need for foster care as well, as they routinely see children removed from homes of meth addicts. Lt. Mike Moran is with the Medford Police. "It's a commitment, it's probably going to be an inconvenience at best but that's where you break the cycle of addiction by getting to kids and giving them a respite from abuse."

The goal of foster care is to take care of the children in hopes that some day their parents will be able to care for them. Some of the mothers we met before have rehabilitated themselves enough to be able to have their children back, and others are still working toward that goal.

Sarah Nork is a recovering addict. "I plan to keep my kids safe. I want to keep my kids safe and I can do that as a clean and sober mother. I couldn't do that before."

If you would like to help with the need for foster parents here in Southern Oregon please contact our local Department of Human Services at 541-776-6120, extension 264.


Blogger Lisa said...

As a former foster child and current child advocate...

I am all for reunification if the parent can get their act together.

However, it is important to realize the emotional damage to the child when that child is shuttled from home to home.

No matter how many times you might tell that child, "It is not your fault," the child often feels that they are the one being punished and that there is something deeply wrong with them.

That's what the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 is all about. Ultimately, children deserve safety and permanency.

It is during childhood that the ability to bond to another human being is formed. Frequent moves from home to home disrupt the process of developing attachment.

If the parent cannot get their act together within a year or two, that child should be adopted by someone who will love and take care of them.

If a recovering addict can keep her children safe, then great. I am all for that.

However, if she sinks into her former lifestyle and exposes that child to danger, I say, "Get that child into a permanent, safe home."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Know Sarah Nork. I met her in Redding, CA while she was doing meth. We were friends. I am quite upset with her attitude regardless of what caused it. Her and Steve stole from me while they were out on the streets. I beat up her husband one time while under the influence myself embarrasingly so though to protect her as he was screaming at her and I was just protecting her. Be that as it was. She while under the influence did damage to my ex boyfriend, stole from me and may or may not have had intimate sexual relations with my ex. I want restitution for what she did and I no longer want to see her @ me. I am quite angry at the immaturity, the lack of respect and do not care. She was a bitch and I was nice enough to be her friend. I am 38 years old and should not have had to associate with the dredges. I am offended as she was extremely rude and I am pissed off. I have PTSD b/c of her and all the other unhealthy bitches that came around to disrespect me. I had heart for these females and yes there are more than one. I got blamed for these acts, raped, and hit in the head several times. I am ready to file court documents. What I would prefer rather than airing all my business publicly is to have all this fixed. I was in Redding, CA on Hilltop and Cyprus flying a homeless/hungry sign for my survival so I could eat when her and Steve came up stole from me. This is ridiculous and the cops did nothing. I would like her and Steve to contact Vandy and I and apologize and make restitution for what she did or I will have to contact her family and inform them of the inappropriate behaviour she exhibited and she will lose some of her rights to see her children. She chose to have her bad attitude and I fail to see why I should have to deal with this alone. I did not go in there to argue with her. I am too grown up for this kind of nonsense. Kharma can be a bitch. She will pay for it. It would be better for her to fix the situation and I am willing to give her the opportunity to do so. But she better do it quickly. As I am angry and have PTSD and am quick to get fired up. My face hurts, my ass hurts and not many days go by where I don't have anxiety. All b/c of all the disrespect. I would appreciate compassion and my privacy please do not contact me. She knows who I am. I can contact Child Protective Services as I am under no obligation after all the negative feedback I get to be nice to her b/c of her behaviour or even give her the opportunity to discuss what happened. Nor do I want to. Do not make any statements unless your willing to help the situation. KHARMA CAN BE A BITCH.

Monday, July 19, 2010 8:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also fail to see why society should have to pay for your ills. You took the responsibility to make the choices you did. Though I love to see people be healthy. It is your responsibility to take charge of your life, your choices and everything that results from making them. That is what life is all about. Making healthy choices. We should take care of our own. Those that are truly sick and infirm, or of a lame mind. Not b/c of something so selfish such as drug/alcohol abuse. I have taken medication for depression and chose myself with the help of a professional to not take the meds anymore and quite cold turkey. I was NEVER A DRUG ADDICT. I GOT MISINFORMATION BY A SYSTEM THAT THERE FIRST INCLINATION IS TO MEDICATE. I DO NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN THIS TO ANYONE MY BUSINESS IS PERSONAL. SO NEVER WALK AROUND LIKE YOU KNOW UNLESS YOU DO....

Monday, July 19, 2010 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Monday, July 19, 2010 9:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Monday, July 19, 2010 9:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Monday, July 19, 2010 9:05:00 PM  

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