Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $324,764)
The production and use of methamphetamine have brought significant and increasing public safety and health concerns to much of the United States. This is evidenced by increases in use, treatment admissions, and other safety and health consequences, as well as increases in the numbers and spread of methamphetamine production labs (known as either 'super labs' or small toxic labs (STLs)). STLs utilize readily available over-the-counter products to produce methamphetamine. They are set up in homes, apartments, vans, motel rooms, and other domestic environments and place any occupants at considerable risk. Particularly at risk are children who live or play in environments where the 'cooking' of methamphetamine takes place. A few states have enacted-and more than 25 states are proposing to enact-laws aimed at restricting the availability of precursor chemicals used to make methamphetamine. To date, however, there has been neither comprehensive documentation of the details of implemented state laws nor comparative studies of the association between state restrictions on precursor availability and changes in the numbers of lab-related seizures.
Using a rapid response methodology, this study will: (1) include an extensive and detailed review of methamphetamine precursor chemical laws in each state; (2) utilize a case study design in states with the most comprehensive laws to investigate policy makers' and practitioners' perceptions of the barriers and facilitating catalysts to effective implementation as well as the perceived effect of the laws; and (3) utilize a pre-post test analysis design to compare states by degree of precursor law restrictiveness to measure the association between these laws and changes in the numbers of laboratory seizures and related consequences, including drug endangered children. Such analyses will provide policy makers, practitioners, and researchers with both a marco and detailed picture of state efforts to control methamphetamine precursor chemicals. The findings will be useful to states considering the development and implementation of methamphetamine precursor laws and may also inform federal actions. Dissemination plans include working with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to produce practitioner briefs, presentations at relevant NIJ conferences, state practitioner meetings, and scientific meetings, as well as publication in peer-reviewed journals.