National Meth Awareness Day
Nov 24, 2006 -
Communities in Washington state and across the nation face serious challenges related to the production and abuse of methamphetamine. Washington is currently ranked third in the nation for meth lab seizures. November 30th marks the first ever National Meth Awareness Day, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and aimed at increasing awareness about the dangers of meth abuse.
Meth is a highly addictive man-made drug that harms not only its users, but also our communities by contributing to crimes like burglary, child abuse and identify theft. The labs used to make meth produce extremely toxic chemicals that are dangerous, harmful to the environment and cost taxpayers and communities millions of dollars to clean up.
While combating meth begins in our cities and towns, I believe the federal government has a role to play in supporting local solutions to drug abuse and crime.
As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine, I work regularly with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to bring attention to the meth epidemic and ensure that local officials have the resources they need to address meth offenders and deal with the after effects of meth use and production.
This year, with my support, the broadest anti-meth legislation ever was passed by Congress and enacted into law. This new comprehensive law toughens criminal penalties for meth producers and distributors and sets aside nearly $500 million to help local law enforcement officers investigate and lock up meth offenders. A portion of these funds will also be used to help communities clean up meth labs.
Meth affects not only users, but entire families. Recognizing the serious impact meth has on families and children, we also passed a law to ensure the safety of children affected by meth. I supported this law which creates regional collaborative partnerships that provide services and support to help children who have been impacted by meth production and abuse lead healthy, safe and stable lives.
While progress continues to be made, it is important that ending the meth epidemic remains a priority for our state.
I believe that National Methamphetamine Awareness Day provides a new opportunity to educate children and adults about the dangers of meth. However it is vital that we continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute meth offenders as well as work to develop long-term solutions to ending drug abuse in our nation.
For more information about the dangers of methamphetamine, please visit www.methresources.gov.