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Methamphetamine Abuse: Challenges for Law Enforcement and Communities

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 254 Dated: July 2006 Pages: 24-27
Date Published
July 2006
4 pages
Publication Series
This article presents the results of study funded by the National Institute of Justice on methamphetamine abuse to assist law enforcement in better understanding why methamphetamine abuse is a growing problem and how communities can combat it.
Methamphetamine is a completely synthetic drug. Self-reported methamphetamine use among adults nationwide rose from just under 2 percent in 1994 to about 5 percent in 2004. From no State reporting 10 percent or more of all of its treatment admissions were for methamphetamine in 1992, data from 2004 showed that 35 percent of States reported more than 10 percent of all admissions were for methamphetamine with eight States reported an admissions figure of more than 20 percent. Methamphetamine is easy to produce domestically, using relatively easy production methods that are commonly available on the Internet or in underground publications. Methamphetamine laboratories pose a serious danger to law enforcement officers. The use of toxic and combustible chemicals makes executing search warrants at meth laboratories a dangerous undertaking. This article presents findings from a study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) on methamphetamine abuse. The findings demonstrate that methamphetamine is not just an issue for law enforcement but for the entire community. Methamphetamine presents major challenges and resource demands for State and local public safety officials and law enforcement. To take on these challenges, essential steps include community resource coordination, joint agency initiative, and development of new skills and partnerships.

Date Published: July 1, 2006