McNerney Requests Funding to Fight Methamphetamine Abuse

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Congressman Jerry McNerney is requesting funds be prioritized for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and for the “Meth Hot Spots” account within the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office at the Department of Justice.

McNerney’s plea calls for funding of at least $20 million for State and Local Assistance within DEA’s budget–the same as last year. Meanwhile, he requestedan increase to $40 million in funding for the “Meth Hot Spots” program, providing sufficient funding to release grants for methamphetamine-related activities within the COPS Office.

Due to budget shortfalls, narcotics division of the Stockton Police Department was forced to shut down. McNerney states that the Central valley struggles with controlling the production and the distribution of methamphetamine.

In 2011, there were 13,379 recorded incidents nationwide, nearly double the amount from 2008 (7,405).  In California, total domestic meth production continues to exceed the combined production of the next three largest meth-producing states.  California continues to lead the Nation in the number of seizures of meth from “super labs” capable of producing hundreds of pounds of meth within a week.

MCNERNEY REQUESTS FUNDING TO REDUCE METHAMPHETAMINE ABUSE AND COMBAT ILLICIT DRUGS

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) wrote to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Justice of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee today requesting funds be prioritized for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and for the “Meth Hot Spots” account within the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office at the Department of Justice.

Congressman McNerney called for funding of at least $20 million for State and Local Assistance within DEA’s budget, the same amount allocated for Fiscal Year 2013, with the goal of fully supporting DEA’s mission of coordinating with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to reduce the supply, transfer, and disposal of illicit drugs.  Congressman McNerney requested an increase to $40 million in funding for the “Meth Hot Spots” program, providing sufficient funding to release grants for methamphetamine-related activities within the COPS Office.

“Making our community safer has never been more important.  Making sure that our law enforcement agencies like the DEA have the resources they need is critical to combating the use of the most dangerous illegal drugs and drug-related crime,” said Congressman McNerney.

Due to budget shortfalls, the narcotics division of the Stockton Police Department was forced to shut down.  Stockton and California’s Central Valley struggle with controlling the production and the distribution of methamphetamine, which has ravaged thousands of lives.  DEA’s assistance is critical in mitigating this problem.

“Meth abuse is one of the most serious threats to our communities and families, and providing resources to help reduce meth addiction is imperative to eliminate the socioeconomic burden it places on our state and local governments,” said Congressman McNerney.

By all leading indicators, the methamphetamine problem is growing nationwide, with impacts of historic proportions on our national and state economies, law enforcement capabilities, families, and societies.  In 2011, there were 13,379 recorded incidents nationwide, nearly double the amount from 2008 (7,405).  In California, total domestic meth production continues to exceed the combined production of the next three largest meth-producing states.  California continues to lead the Nation in the number of seizures of meth from “super labs” capable of producing hundreds of pounds of meth within a week.

 

From an economic perspective, the effects of meth use are equally disturbing.  The RAND Corporation’s first national estimate suggested that the economic cost of meth use in the United States reached a staggering $23.4 billion in 2005.  Long-term use of this highly-addictive drug can lead to serious physical health problems, as well as depression, hallucinations, violent and aggressive behavior, malnutrition, disturbed personality development, and methamphetamine psychosis, a mental disorder similar to paranoid psychosis and schizophrenia.  Meth production and usage impacts our societies, including explosions and fires triggered by the manufacturing of meth, environmental contamination, increased criminal activity, domestic violence, emergency room and other medical costs, the spread of infectious disease, including HIV, AIDS and hepatitis, and lost worker productivity.

Earlier this year, Congressman McNerney introduced the bipartisan Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope (METH) Act to modernize programs to better combat methamphetamine abuse.  The METH Act focuses on raising awareness of methamphetamine addiction and providing resources for the most at-risk communities and individuals.

The METH Act supports youth involvement in programs that deter drug usage, improves identification and prevention of methamphetamine addiction, and broadens support for specific programs targeted to serve pregnant and parenting women.  The METH Act helps medical professionals raise awareness about how to recognize signs of substance abuse and apply practices for screening and treating individuals at-risk for developing an addiction.

“By all leading indicators, the methamphetamine problem is getting worse, both nationally and in California. In fact, California’s total domestic meth production exceeds the combine production of the next three largest meth-producing states. In addition, California continues to lead the nation in the number of seizures of meth from ‘super labs,’ capable of producing hundreds of pounds of meth within a week. This substantial and growing threat costs our local, state, and federal governments billions of dollars each year. We must restore vital anti-meth funding in order to address this significant problem.” – Kent Shaw, Chief, California Department of Justice Bureau of Investigations

More information on the METH Act can be found here.