DENVER – Attorney General Suthers today released the first Methamphetamine Task Force Report pursuant to C.R.S. 18-18.5-103(6)(d). The Task Force was established last July to combat the scourge of methamphetamine in Colorado.
“Our data indicates that the rate of methamphetamine abuse has doubled in the last five years,” said Suthers, chair of the Methamphetamine Task Force. “This alarming trend has significant and devastating effects on our communities. Through the work of the Meth Task Force, we look forward to seeing this trend decline.”
According to the report, treatment admission rates have increased from 8 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2005. The report also confirms that Colorado’s rural communities are affected disproportionately by meth abuse. In fact, the report notes that treatment admissions are significantly higher for methamphetamine in rural neighborhoods than urban ones.
However, the report also indicates that the number of methamphetamine labs in Colorado has decreased in the last three years likely due to the passage of stricter laws related to the sale of meth precursors, and better communication between law enforcement and communities.
In addition to providing a summary of data findings, the report provides recommendations on how to best combat methamphetamine abuse. Among those recommendations is to increase the capacity of interagency data collection systems to better understand the effects of methamphetamine in Colorado. The report further recommends that efforts continue to review and develop effective programs and policies. The Task Force has distributed a comprehensive survey to state agencies to better understand the effects of meth on their communities and the various programs in place to combat the problem.
In their report, the Methamphetamine Task Force also sets priorities for this year. Those priorities include examining models on how best to protect children and other victims of meth production, distribution and abuse and then implementing those best practices in Colorado.
The Methamphetamine Task Force was announced in July 2006. At that meeting, Suthers announced the formation of a Data Collection Subcommittee and a State Funding Subcommittee. The Methamphetamine Task Force is vice-chaired by JosÃ© Esquibel, Janet Wood and Lori Moriarity and will meet again later this month.