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DHS news release



For immediate release


July 28, 2005


Contact: Trish Neiworth, DHS Office of Public Affairs, (503) 881-6100

Bryan Johnston, DHS interim director, (503) 945-6609


Community's leadership recognized in fight against meth


As many as 90,000 Oregonians believed to need treatment today



(Jackson County, Ore.) – Community leaders in Jackson County launched another round of innovative efforts in the state's war against methamphetamines, announcing today approximately $415,000 in grants to four local projects focusing on prevention, treatment, public safety, and family stabilization.


Gov. Ted Kulongski praised the cooperation among local agencies and organizations as a model that has drawn national attention. Jackson County held a "meth summit" in January that brought together 96 community leaders, who proposed the anti-meth grants that were announced today.


"The residents of Jackson County are setting a standard for all Oregonians by bringing together key community leaders on this epidemic in our state," Kulongoski said. "Meth is a public safety issue, a children's issue, an economic development issue, and ultimately an issue for our long-term health, vitality and livability as a state."


Statewide, the Governor has implemented a meth task force which has produced recommendations being implemented in Oregon including restricting over-the-counter sales of psuedoephedrine and ephedrine, key ingredients in meth manufacturing.


As many as 90,000 Oregonians are believed today to need meth treatment, with Oregon currently considered a "source state" for methamphetamines across the United States, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services.


Its toll on social services in the state continues to be dramatic, DHS Interim Director Bryan Johnston told a Medford news conference today.


"Every Oregonian realizes meth is a big issue; what many don't understand is how big it is," Johnston said. "Meth is stretching our police, packing our courts, endangering our neighborhoods and putting thousands of drug endangered Oregon kids in foster care."


In Jackson County alone, approximately 80 percent of the child welfare cases are considered meth-related; statewide about 50 percent of the cases can be attributed in part to meth, according to DHS.


Methamphetamine has now passed marijuana as the second primary drug of abuse -- after alcohol -- for adults in treatment, according to the Oregon State Police. Police report that it is tied to almost all of the property and identify theft crimes in Oregon.