NATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL RELEASES RECOMMENDATIONS FROM WASHINGTON METH SUMMIT
(BELLEVUE, WA) September 26, 2001- In August, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), with King County Sheriff Dave Reichert and Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R-WA), hosted a statewide summit on Methamphetamine. Key participants in the summit included Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA), Congressman Asa Hutchinson (DEA Administrator Designate), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and NCPC's Vice President and COO James E. Copple.
On Wednesday, September 26, 2001, James E. Copple will be at the Burien Precinct of the King County Sheriffs Office (14905 6th Avenue, SW) releasing the recommendations, with specific actions for the state, from the summit to the Meth Summit Steering Committee. (Mr. Copple will be available for media interviews at 2:45 p.m.)
The statewide recommendations coming out of this intensive planning process will reverse the current trend in meth use, said Copple. Im encouraged by the commitment from all levels of leadership in the state and believe Washington could become a model for the country in dealing with the meth problem.
More than 400 people from across the state participated in the two-day summit that focused on finding solutions to Washingtons growing problem with methamphetamine. The summit, held at the Bellevue Double Tree Hotel, involved representatives from 25 of the 39 counties in the state and included representatives from local, state, and federal agencies from law enforcement, child protection, criminal justice, education, health care, treatment, child and family services, community-based organizations, youth, and the Environmental Protection Agency. For two days, participants were divided into teams representing each of the 25 counties and worked with 40 specially trained facilitators to develop specific outcomes for addressing the meth problem within their county.
The summit was only the beginning, said King County Sheriff Dave Reichert. With the release of the recommendations, we can move on to beginning the planning and implementation phase. The huge increase in methamphetamine manufacturing, distribution, and use must be stopped. A coordinated, interdisciplinary action plan will be the legacy of the summit.
The goal of the summit was to provide a forum for comprehensive strategic planning around prevention, treatment, enforcement, education, and continuing care. Participants left with a planning tool that would enable their local communities to implement solutions. The summit also provided them with the opportunity to participate in a coordinated statewide effort that is mobilizing resources to prevent and reduce the proliferation of meth and meth labs.
The tragedy of methamphetamine diminishes us all. The recommendations generated by the Summit recognize that the entire community, from law enforcement to the media, from elected representatives to average citizens, from treatment providers to youth groups, must be involved in the solution, said DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson. These recommendations will also aid the state of Washington in formalizing practices already under consideration by many local agencies. Moreover, they will help put a stop to the proliferation of toxic meth labs that damage our environment and endanger our citizens. I am confident the recommendations of this Summit, so expertly facilitated by the National Crime Prevention Council, will combat the menace of methamphetamine in Washington effectively and swiftly.
The rise in the number of methamphetamine labs spreading throughout the country is largely due to local entrepreneurs, who operate on the periphery of the methamphetamine market. These local entrepreneurs exploit the continuing demand for the drug by producing smaller amounts of meth in less complex laboratories--often their home kitchens--with household products purchased at a local store.
Washington state is ranked second in the nation in methamphetamine lab seizures. Meth lab seizures in King County went from 60 in 1999 to 135 last year and could reach as high as 200 this year. In addition, admissions to meth abuse treatment programs in Washington grew from 774 in 1993 to 5,173 in 1998, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services.
I am pleased with the enormous success of the Washington State Meth Summit. I am also encouraged by the strong commitment of the summits participants who are on the front lines in the battle against meth. These important recommendations will help Washington state communities address this rapidly escalating problem that not only threatens our environment but destroys the lives of too many people, said Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (D-WA).
The recommendations from the Washington State Meth Summit demonstrate that were making real progress toward addressing the meth problem in our state in a comprehensive and effective way. I fully support the approach that the participants used to tackle the problem, and I was proud to be a co-host of the summit. It is also my hope that as we go forward discussing and implementing the recommendations, Washington state can serve as a model to other states that are struggling with increasing numbers of meth labs and meth abusers. As founder and co-chair of the Congressional Meth Caucus, I plan to play an active role sharing our good work with other members of Congress whose districts are also plagued with meth abuse, said Rep. Brian Baird.
Summit recommendations can be faxed or e-mailed to interested media by calling: (202) 261-4120 or e-mailing: Kfoster@ncpc.org.
National Crime Prevention