Office of National Drug Control Policy

Legislation and Policy

Most states have enacted legislation that either directly addresses or corresponds to Drug Endangered Children. It's important to note that the policy and legislative issues related to these children encompass a broad array of issues, including mandatory reporting, dependency court, criminal prosecution, and sentencing. Since every situation presents a unique set of circumstances, multidisciplinary teams should work together to determine the approach that best meets the needs of the children involved. For some, this may involve a criminal prosecution and enhanced penalty for the presence of children. For others, this may involve dependency court and family preservation services.

Compilations of Federal and State Legislation

State-Specific Legislation


  • A.R.S. 13-3623 (passed in 2000) – Created liability when a person places a child in a location where a methamphetamine lab exists
  • A.R.S. 12-1000 (passed in 2003) – Makes is unlawful to anyone other than the property owner/manager to enter a property where drugs were being manufactured until it is cleaned by a state-approved site remediation firm. This ensures that children will not be returned to a drug laboratory site until it is determined to be safe.


  • Revised Statute 14:93.A (2) (amended in 2004) – Identifies as an offense the intentional or criminally negligent exposure by anyone age 17 or older of any child under age 17 to a clandestine laboratory operation in a situation where it is foreseeable that the child may be physically harmed. Lack of knowledge of the child's age can not be used as a defense.

North Dakota

  • HB 1351 (passed in 2003) – Makes it a felony to expose children or vulnerable adults to a controlled substance, precursor, or drug paraphernalia.


  • HB 2610 (passed in 2002) – Establishes a felony for endangerment of a child by exposure to methamphetamine or its precursors.
  • RCW 26.44.200 (passed in 2002) – Requires the investigating law enforcement officer to contact the Department of Social and Health Services immediately if a child is found at a meth lab

See MethResources: Policies and Legislation for additional legislation concerning drug endangered children.