November 30, 2006

Crapo calls attention to meth abuse

November 30, 2006 is "National Methamphetamine Awareness Day"

Washington, DC - Citing the rampant spread of methamphetamine production and its use in Idaho communities over the past few years, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today called attention to National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. "Methamphetamine use has spread into schools and communities across the state of Idaho at a tragic and frightening rate," said Crapo. "Parents are learning what law enforcement, schools, health care providers and family violence and drug abuse intervention organizations have known for years; that is, meth abuse is a debilitating and dangerous habit that affects many Idaho adults and children. Furthermore, children living in a home used as a meth lab are at extreme risk for injury, illness and even death from a user or the by-products of production." "I congratulate Idaho law enforcement, Governor Risch, the U.S. District Attorney's office, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Seattle Field Division, Idaho schools and communities for their ongoing work to rid our schools and neighborhoods of meth and find rehabilitation for users," continued Crapo. "These efforts will reduce crimes associated with meth abuse and recidivism in our jails and make our communities and families safer." According to the Idaho State Police, in 2004, 31.8 percent of those involved in drug-related arrests were in possession of meth, second only to marijuana. Meth abuse happens in greater numbers in older individuals than marijuana: from 1998 to 2004, only 4.2 percent of meth arrestees were juveniles and approximately two-thirds were over 24 years of age. Also, 30 percent of those arrested for meth crimes in Idaho were female. Unlike marijuana, the proportion of arrestees in possession of meth has risen since 1998, and more arrests were made for selling meth than selling marijuana and cocaine combined over that same six-year period. National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, calls national attention to the damaging effects of methamphetamine abuse on individuals, families and communities, and encourages education and prevention public outreach on this crime. In Idaho, the Seattle Field Division of the DEA is sponsoring activities at Boise State University including discussions between federal, state and local officials on the effect of meth on Idaho communities and talks by health officials to educate users on the physical harmful effects of meth abuse, available treatments and prevention messages aimed at children and adults. # # # FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov in the Radio Links.