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Methamphetamine: An Update on an Emerging Problem

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Dated: October 2000 Pages: 8-9
Jolene Hernon
Date Published
October 2000
2 pages
This article presents findings from the work of the congressionally mandated Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force as part of the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996.
The legislation directed the Task Force to examine the impact of methamphetamine and other synthetic stimulants; also to evaluate, design, and implement Federal strategies for educating the public about methamphetamine, preventing and treating its use, and helping law enforcement agencies respond to it. During the course of its work, the Task Force explored methamphetamine's history and the current and future state of the problem in the United States, so as to provide guidance for a national plan to combat it. The Task Force concluded that methamphetamine is a dangerous, addictive drug, and the population of users is expanding but not well defined. The precursor chemicals used to produce methamphetamine are relatively inexpensive, widely available, easy to transport, and difficult to regulate. There is no single source country or single specific trafficking route for methamphetamine. The clandestine laboratories where methamphetamine is produced domestically pose significant hazards to law enforcement officials, nearby residents, and the general public. The recommendations developed by the Task Force are in the areas of prevention and education, treatment, law enforcement, and the implementation of an effective strategy.