Drug Czar: Tighten Border in Meth Fight
Press, August 1, 2006; 9:01 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The
next phase in the fight against illicit
methamphetamine should emphasize tightening U.S.
borders to prevent drug trafficking, expanding
voluntary drug testing in schools, and augmenting
treatment for addicts, the nation's drug czar said
"Today we have to learn that meth is both a
problem on the preventative side and the supply
side," John P. Walters, director of the White
House drug policy office, said during a news
conference in western North Carolina where law
officers have raided hundreds of meth labs in
Restrictions on the
sale of cold medicines with ingredients used to make
meth have helped several states significantly reduce
the number of meth labs in operation, government
But the gains made by
shutting down local meth labs are now threatened by
trafficking from super-labs in California and
Mexico, officials say.
Meth addiction often
leads to psychotic or violent behavior and brain
damage. People high on the drug will often stay
awake for days.
Walters said the
federal government supports expanding random drug
testing in schools, an existing program that would
remain voluntary. He said research shows that youths
who don't use drugs and alcohol are less likely to
get hooked after age 20.
"We can change this
problem in a durable way for years and years by
reducing exposure to young people," Walters said in
an interview with The Associated Press.
He also said his
office supports boosting federal money for treatment