The state is developing ways to combat production, distribution and use of methamphetamine in Kansas.

The state is developing ways to combat production, distribution and use of methamphetamine in Kansas.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, in conjunction with the Kansas Task Force Addressing Methamphetamine and Illegal Drugs have constructed a state strategic plan to address methamphetamine.

“The success of our families and our communities depends heavily upon our ability to provide a safe and secure environment,” said Parkinson. “Reducing the availability and ultimately, the usage of drugs is one of the best investments our state can make for our future. I am pleased to see the task force working with law enforcement officials to tackle this issue.”

The strategic plan outlines important goals that will better position local law enforcement to respond to methamphetamine manufacturing and importation, as well as increase prevention services and improve access to methamphetamine treatment.

Some of the goals for the strategic plan include increasing data related to methamphetamine as well as finding funding to assist law enforcement and increasing access to treatment for those dependent on meth by promoting the implementation of drug courts in rural communities across the state.

At present, Kansas was one of seven states selected to participate in the Rural Law Enforcement Methamphetamine Initiative (RLEMI) launched by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. As part of its participation in the RLEMI, Kansas will develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan to assist rural law enforcement in addressing methamphetamine.

The State Methamphetamine Coordinator, Kansas Task Force Addressing Methamphetamine and Illegal Drugs, and partner agencies will implement action steps identified in the strategic plan. This initiative is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and implemented through the direction of Strategic Applications International.

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), methamphetamine is the “principal” drug threat in Kansas because of the availability of the drug. In 2002, a survey conducted by the NDIC showed that 33 of 29 Kansas law enforcement agencies said that methamphetamine abuse is high in their respective jurisdictions. Five said the abuse was moderate; one said it was low.

From 1997-2002, meth-related treatment admissions went from 997 to 1,160.Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said that he supports the strategic plan and now is the time to implement measures to combat methamphetamine.

“In order to keep Kansans safe, it is imperative that we provide local law enforcement the necessary tools to reduce the prevalence of illegal drugs in our state, and with this new strategic plan, the State of Kansas is doing just that,” Six said.

On the Web:
National Drug Intelligence Center:
 http://www.justice.gov/ndic

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140