August 07, 2020

Feinstein, Grassley Introduce Bill to Confront Rising Threat of Methamphetamine

Washington— Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) yesterday introduced the Methamphetamine Response Act, a bill declaring methamphetamine an emerging drug threat which would require the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to develop, implement and make public a national plan to prevent methamphetamine addiction and overdoses from becoming a crisis.

“Methamphetamine is, once again, emerging as a major threat to our nation,” said Feinstein. “In just one year, overdose deaths related to psychostimulants, which include methamphetamine, increased by 27 percent, the largest percent increase in deaths caused by any illicit drug, including fentanyl. Over the first nine months of the fiscal year, methamphetamine seizures increased by 52 percent, which shows how widely available this deadly drug has become. We must implement a national, whole-of-government plan to address this threat before it becomes the next preventable drug overdose crisis in our country.”

“For years, meth has taken lives and destroyed families across America, particularly in the Midwest,” said Grassley. “Though this drug is not new, drug traffickers are finding new and harmful ways to increase meth’s potency and distribution, spiking overdose rates. By declaring meth an emerging drug threat, our bill helps law enforcement better respond to the challenges presented by drug traffickers’ evolving tactics, and urges our federal partners to continue to prioritize a response and strategy to address the meth crisis.”

What the bill does:

  • Declares methamphetamine an emerging drug threat, as defined in section 702 of the ONDCP Reauthorization Act of 1998

  • Requires ONDCP to develop, implement, and make public, within 90 days of enactment, a national emerging threats response plan that is specific to methamphetamine, in accordance with section 709(d) of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998.

  • The ONDCP plan must be updated annually and include the following:

    • An assessment of the methamphetamine threat, including the current availability of and demand for the drug, and evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, as well as law enforcement programs;

    • Short- and long term goals, including those focused on supply and demand reduction, and on expanding the availability and effectiveness of treatment and prevention programs;

    • Performance measures pertaining to the plan’s goals;

    • The level of funding needed to implement the plan; and

    • An implementation strategy, goals, and objectives for a media campaign. 
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