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Montana DOJ Report Recommends More Drug, Alcohol Treatment

Montana Department of Justice Office of Child and Family Ombudsman.
Montana Department of Justice Office of Child and Family Ombudsman.

Fourteen Montana children, whose cases had been reported to the state’s child protective services, died last year. Drug or alcohol use was identified in 9 of the 14 cases reviewed by the Montana Department of Justice.

State Attorney General Tim Fox says the state must learn how to better protect its most vulnerable children.

“And in particular, I think, it’s important to note that many of the issues that arise from this review revolved around substance abuse in the home," Fox says.

The DoJ’s Child and Family ombudsman’s report released today notes that 3 accidental deaths involved an infant sleeping in the same bed with their mother, who was using drugs.

Two other deaths were due to medical complications where parental drug use could have been a factor.

The report says the state could prevent more deaths by offering more drug and alcohol treatment services for pregnant women and alcohol addicts.

The justice department launched an initiative last year called ‘AID Montana’ to create a comprehensive approach to drug and alcohol abuse.

The state health department, meanwhile, is expanding a home visitation program to assist expectant mothers and families in the child protection system.

Read the Child and Family ombudsman’s report here

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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