U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Responding to Methamphetamine: Washington State's Promising Example

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2002
24 pages
This document presents information regarding the methamphetamine problem in Washington State and the efforts to combat it.
The Meth Caucus is a bipartisan, 74-member caucus that aims to raise national awareness and provide increased Federal resources to combat the methamphetamine problem. Methamphetamine has long been associated with biker gangs on the West Coast but began spreading to rural areas in the Midwest in the 1990's. Violence, crime, and addiction came with the spread of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine, also known as speed, crystal, crank, or ice, is an inexpensive, highly addictive central nervous system stimulant that can be injected, snorted, smoked, or ingested orally. The effects include increased activity, decreased appetite, and a sense of well being that can last from 6 to 8 hours. The medical uses are for the treatment of narcolepsy, attention deficit disorders, and obesity. The United States produces more methamphetamine than any other illegal synthetic drug. In 1999, 9.4 million Americans reported they had tried methamphetamine at least once. The highest rate of use was among those aged 18 to 25. Among high school seniors surveyed in 2000, 7.9 percent had tried methamphetamine; over a quarter said it was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain the drug. The production of methamphetamine, the profile of methamphetamine users, and the dynamics of the drug market warrant different enforcement and treatment approaches. The four main components of Washington’s Meth Initiative are law enforcement, treatment, clean up and mitigation, and prevention. Additional lab response will be trained and equipped to expand the State’s regional response capabilities. Treatment admissions will be expanded by 20 percent, specifically targeting parents with young children. Additional staffing will be on hand to respond to clandestine lab sites and help reduce the costs of clean up by increasing waste acceptance and disposal at county facilities. Meth Action Teams will be developed, trained, and supported in all 39 Washington counties. Four pilot projects will be developed to target children and families at risk of future methamphetamine use due to use by family members.