9-2-2004 GOVERNOR’S METH TASK FORCE DELIVERS FINAL REPORT   printer  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
SEPTEMBER 2, 2004  


GOVERNOR’S METH TASK FORCE DELIVERS FINAL REPORT

NASHVILLE — The Governor’s Task Force on Methamphetamine Abuse today delivered its final report outlining a series of recommendations to serve as the basis for Governor Phil Bredesen’s strategy to address the methamphetamine epidemic in Tennessee.

In all, the Task Force delivered more than 30 recommendations falling under seven fundamental “cornerstones” for an effective strategy to attack meth abuse. The cornerstones include:

• Increase funding for methamphetamine treatment with an eye toward long-term initiatives.
• Educate communities about the dangers of methamphetamine abuse.
• Create new penalties and strengthen existing penalties for methamphetamine-related crimes.
• Commit resources to help children harmed by methamphetamine manufacturing and abuse.
• Limit the availability of pre-cursor materials used to illegally manufacture methamphetamine.
• Address contamination caused by clandestine methamphetamine laboratories.
• Improve coordination between federal, state and local stakeholders.

The Governor’s Task Force on Methamphetamine Abuse, which conducted public hearings across the state over the course of four months, was charged with developing a comprehensive strategy for addressing the manufacture and abuse of meth in Tennessee. The group consists of 20 representatives from a range of fields, including state and local government, law enforcement and health care.

Bredesen lauded the Task Force’s efforts and asked the group to remain “on call” to provide additional advice and counsel as needed. Ken Givens, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and chairman of the Governor’s Meth Task Force, said the group “stands ready to continue working on behalf of the State to attack the manufacturing and abuse of this deadly drug.”

Methamphetamine, a powerfully addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system, is produced in clandestine laboratories across Tennessee with relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. The drug has been on the rise in recent years. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that Tennessee now accounts for 75% of meth lab seizures in the Southeast. For more information, visit the DEA’s web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/states/tennessee.html.

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NOTE: The final report by the Governor’s Task Force on Methamphetamine Abuse can be viewed online at www.tennessee.gov/governor/methreport.pdf or an email copy can be obtained by calling
615-741-3763.