The U.S. Senate advanced a bill Monday introduced by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), declaring methamphetamine an emerging drug threat.
The Methamphetamine Response Act requires that the Office of National Drug Control Policy develop, implement and make public a national plan to curtail addiction to and overdoses from Methamphetamine before it turns into a crisis like the opioid crisis.
“The rise of methamphetamine in the United States is a serious cause for concern. In a single year, overdose deaths caused by psychostimulants, which includes methamphetamine, increased by 27 percent to more than 16,000,” Feinstein said. “We must have a national plan to confront this crisis head-on. Last month the Drug Enforcement Administration seized 2,224 pounds of methamphetamine in Riverside County, Calif., and Customs and Border Protection seized 3,000 pounds at the port of Otay Mesa, Calif. Both seizures are among the largest on record and show what we can expect if we don’t take action. I urge my colleagues in the House to move this bill quickly.”
The bill declares methamphetamine an emerging drug threat and requires the ONDCP to come up with a plan to deal with the threat. The plan, which has to be updated annually, will assess the level of threat methamphetamine creates, come up with short-and long-term goals to combat it, and include performance measures on which to judge the plan.
“Methamphetamine abuse is not a new problem. But traffickers are finding new, more harmful ways to increase potency and distribution, leading to a tragic rise in overdoses. The passage of this bill will help law enforcement by establishing and prioritizing a national response plan to confront the meth crisis,” Grassley said.