U.S. Senate – Today, during a hearing in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bill, the Mitigating METH Act, received broad support from tribal leaders.
“We are facing a methamphetamine epidemic in Montana,” said Daines. “I will continue to take action to stop this terrible drug from taking lives and ripping apart communities.”
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The Mitigating the Methamphetamine Epidemic and Promoting Tribal Health Act, also known as the Mitigating METH Act, takes steps to combat methamphetamine use across Montana and strengthen Indian tribes’ ability to fight this epidemic by making tribes, like states, directly eligible for funding authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act. Additionally, it would give states and tribes flexibility to address the substance use disorders most prevalent among their constituencies, which, in Montana, would include meth.
The tribal witness panel unanimously testified in support of Daines’ legislation.
Methamphetamine Crisis in Montana:
• Montana saw a 427 percent increase in methamphetamine violations from 2010-2015.?
• Methamphetamine cases make up the majority of the investigations conducted by Montana Narcotics Bureau agents, with 232 of the 432 cases (54%) between 2010 and 2015 involving meth.?
• 46% of children’s out-of-home placements with Montana’s child protective services agency that have parental substance use indicated involve meth, more than double the rate of any other drug.?
• There are 11 drug task forces in Montana, all reporting methamphetamine as the primary drug encountered.
Daines Actions to Combat Meth Crisis:
• On December 21, 2017, Daines introduced bipartisan legislation, the Mitigating METH Act, to combat methamphetamine use across Montana and strengthen Indian tribes’ ability to fight this epidemic.?
• On October 18, 2017, Daines met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and discussed the importance of combatting meth abuse and securing the Northern border and Southern border.?
• On July 27, 2017, Daines met with White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Acting Director Richard Baum on ways to combat the growing problem of methamphetamine in Montana.?
• On June 5, 2017, Daines introduced bipartisan legislation to curb methamphetamine’s devastating impact on Montana’s child welfare system. It would allow a child to benefit from federal foster care support payments while placed with a parent in a licensed, residential, family-based treatment facility so that parents can recover from meth use and children are kept safe.