While law enforcement continues to arrest and prosecute methamphetamine dealers and educate the public about its dangers, addiction counselors warned state leaders on Thursday that if more money isn't put into treatment, the meth threat will never be gone.
"When someone calls my agency and says I need a bed now, I have to say 'Call back tomorrow,'" Mick Hall, clinical director of Bristlecone Family Resources, a Reno treatment center, told the newly formed Governor's Working Group on Methamphetamine Use in Nevada.
In 2004, 180,000 Nevadans needed drug-addiction treatment and 33,983 people received it. There are only 659 beds in the state for in-treatment care.
"Make treatment affordable and readily available. Get (them) the right treatment at the right time for the right amount of time - a minimum of 90 days - anything less is a waste of time," Hall said.
Of those who entered treatment in 2006, 45 percent of adults and 41 percent of juveniles were recovering from methamphetamine addiction. Of the pregnant women who entered treatment facilities, 81.5 percent were seeking help for a meth addiction, said Maria Canfield of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
Hall said treatment that follows the National Institute on Drug Abuse's "13 Principles for Effective Treatment," needs adequate state funding.
He also said in order for the drug addiction to be addressed, treatment must also consist of dental care, financial assistance and myriad other programs designed to help the person focus on their recovery.
"We are at least three years behind the meth problem," he said.
Others joined in the plea for assistance.
"We need your help," Storey County Sheriff Jim Miller told the committee. "Please don't start a program that's going to be earmarked to fail."
Current bill drafts that refer to methamphetamine
• BDR 188: Revises penalties for manufacturing, trafficking and sales of methamphetamine.
• BDR 381: Makes appropriation to NACO for statewide teaching and education outreach programs to prevent methamphetamine use.
• BDR 486: Makes various changes concerning methamphetamine use.
• BDR 511: Makes various changes to provisions governing use, abuse and manufacturing of methamphetamine.
• BDR 714: Revises provisions governing the sale or transfer of products containing pseudoephedrine or other precursor substances used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
• BDR 201: Makes appropriation to fund a working group to study methamphetamine problem in Nevada.
Current bills referring to methamphetamine
• SB 112: Enacts provisions governing the sale of products containing materials that are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and other controlled substances.
• AB 116: Revises provisions governing crimes involving certain controlled substances.
• AB 148: Enacts provisions governing the sale of products containing materials that are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and other controlled substances.
• AB 149: Makes an appropriation to the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services in the Department of Health and Human Services for the prevention of the abuse of methamphetamine.
• AB 150: Makes various changes pertaining to methamphetamine and other controlled substances.