La Crosse hosts national conference focused on helping children of drug abuse

Buffalo County Detective Mike Osmond has seen first hand how a substance addiction can ruin a family, when he was involved in a series of arrests last year.

“I myself in Buffalo County last year had a great grandma, grandma, mom and child all impacted in the same household, the three adults were using meth, and the child was an infant.”

Osmond hopes his county’s involvement in the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children can give children a strong, drug-free upbringing.

“What we’re doing is we’re putting an effort into now, to stop drug usage or stop drug abuse in the future.”

Buffalo County is one of 64 counties in Wisconsin part of the Alliance, which provides resources and advice to counties looking to give kids born in substance abusing families a chance.

“We want to help professionals in communities be able to identify children at the earliest point possible and then provide intervention and support,” said Stacee Read, National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

Which is why community leaders from several states were part of the national convention taking place in La Crosse, featuring keynote speakers who share strategies to help ease the grip that drugs have on some families.

The alliance continues to spread their message nationwide, and they hope some government funding brings a brighter future for kids.

“We are very optimistic for the funding from the federal government, and we are excited for that because we are excited to be in more communities, more states, more tribes, and be able to help children and families,” hoped Read.

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