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Methamphetamine: A New Tiger to Tame

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2006
2 pages
This article provides an overview of State programs designed to combat methamphetamine locally, and briefly discusses Federal efforts addressing methamphetamine issues nationally.
Methamphetamine use, described as the drug epidemic of the early 21st century, presents new challenges and issues for law enforcement officials and the public. Because of the hazardous and toxic conditions produced by meth manufacturing laboratories, the easy lab setup in essentially any location, and the long-term physical and psychological damage any use of the drug can cause, many States have responded to the crisis with a three-pronged approach. Law enforcement, commercial retailers, and the public have aligned as partners to facilitate the approach which includes: educating the public about the destructive nature of meth, stopping the sale of meth-producing products prior to manufacture, and regulating cleanup procedures after meth labs are discovered and shutdown. Additionally, the White House, through the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has implemented measures at the Federal level to address issues unique to meth manufacture and ingestion. Since the ingredients needed to manufacture meth are readily available through local purchases, one of the most prevalent prevention methods, employed by over a dozen States nationwide, involves the implementation of watch programs, aimed at reducing the theft and sale of products used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The second approach involves containing the environmental impact of meth labs after discovery by training personnel to recognize and properly respond to evidence of detritus common to meth labs. The third major technique makes use of Web sites dedicated to educating the public about the effects of the drug on the users’ and loved ones’ lives, as well as, the permanent effect it has on users’ health from the first use. Last year, the White House issued a strategic plan which tackles methamphetamine production and use by promoting legislation to limit the amount of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine products, a mixture used in meth production, any individual could purchase. References

Date Published: October 1, 2006