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FEBRUARY 1, 2000202/307-0703

Collaboration Among Education, Public Health, Law Enforcement, Public Safety Agencies Needed to Address Problem

Washington, D.C. - Attorney General Janet Reno and General Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), released a report recommending that collaboration among education, public health, law enforcement and public safety agencies is critical to addressing the growing methamphetamine problem in the United States. The report, prepared by the Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force, was unveiled last week in Washington, D.C. at the 68th Winter Meeting of the U. S. Conference of Mayors. Attorney General Reno and General McCaffrey co-chaired the Task Force.

"The findings of the Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force will enable us to take the next step toward ridding our communities of the public safety and health problems caused by methamphetamine," stated Attorney General Reno. "By combining prevention and treatment with education and enforcement, we can enable those who are abusing methamphetamine to break the cycle of drugs and crime and become productive citizens."

"Meth is a cheap high that comes at enormous cost to our families and communities," said General McCaffrey. "From the Midwest to Southern California, this drug is a serious and growing threat. This report will help not only the federal government, but rural areas, cities, and towns combat this problem."

Speaking at the U. S. Conference of Mayors, Attorney General Reno also discussed a forthcoming Justice Department initiative to create a comprehensive approach to fighting methamphetamine, tailored to strategically address each community's methamphetamine problem. Law enforcement officials from federal, state, and local levels will join with treatment providers, educators, and other community stakeholders to prevent and combat the harmful effects of methamphetamine abuse and manufacturing.

The Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force was authorized with the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996 and teams the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services with ONDCP to examine the scope of the methamphetamine problem in the United States. The Task Force effort is a response to the emergence of widespread methamphetamine use in this country. The Task Force was charged with recommending strategies to prevent and reduce the incidence of methamphetamine-related crime, injury and death. The Task Force conducted field hearings in Omaha, Nebraska and San Diego, California to hear from local researchers, justice practitioners, and citizens about the negative effects of methamphetamine.

The report describes the methamphetamine problem; needs and recommendations in the areas of law enforcement, prevention and education, and treatment; research priorities to advance the understanding of the nature and effects of the methamphetamine problem and to measure the effectiveness of prevention, enforcement, and treatment interventions. A final section discussespromising strategies and recommendations for the federal government to assist communities in combating methamphetamine.

NIJ, the Justice Department's primary research and evaluation arm, supports research, evaluation, and demonstration programs, the development of technology, and both national and international information dissemination. More information about NIJ and its programs is available at: Information about other Office of Justice Programs (OJP) bureaus and program offices is available at To receive copies of the Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force Final Report, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 800/851-3420 and refer to document number NCJ180155. Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.


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For more information contact Liz Pearson at the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.