Pubdate: Sat, 29 Dec 2007
Source: Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV)
Copyright: 2007 Nevada Appeal
Author: Geoff Dornan
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


The Governor's Working Group on Methamphetamine Use has  submitted 
recommendations in categories ranging from  treatment to law enforcement.

The 55-page report was turned over to Gov. Jim Gibbons  this week.

One of Gibbons' first acts as governor was to form the  group, which 
includes educators, treatment providers  and citizens as well as law 
enforcement. Among them are  his wife, Dawn, who has been active in 
the battle  against meth since before her husband's election.

She said Nevadans "must unite to ensure that this  devastating drug 
is not in our homes, schools or  communities."

Also among the 16 members of the panel are Reno  Assemblywoman Sheila 
Leslie, Carson City Mayor Marv  Teixeira and Carson Sheriff Kenny 
Furlong - who were  leaders in the effort which created Carson City's 
meth  task force more than a year ago.

Many of the recommendations in the report call for  increased funding 
to protect drug-endangered children,  for such things as increased 
early intervention  services, standards for K-12 prevention education 
and  greatly expanded treatment programs. It also calls for  the 
replacement of federal funding lost in the past  five years from the 
Nevada Juvenile Justice Programs  Office.

But there was little discussion during the numerous  working group 
meetings about how much funding will be  needed to implement the 
recommendations or where it  will come from.

Health and Human Services Director Mike Willden said  after a meeting 
earlier this month he will develop  those figures once the governor 
advises him which of  the recommendations he wants included in the 
2009-2011  budget.

Phil Galeoto, director of public safety, said that is  true of the 
recommendations involving his department as  well.

Many of the other recommendations call for more  communication and 
cooperation between different  agencies dealing with meth addicts and 
dealers. They  encourage collaboration with community organizations 
as well as governmental providers and law enforcement  agencies. And 
they emphasize the participation of  Nevada's tribal communities as well.

Several members of law enforcement on the working group  said they 
now have a better understanding of the crisis  from the point of view 
of educators and treatment  providers. Clark County Sheriff Doug 
Gillespie said  education and treatment are essential.

Willden said he was originally concerned the group  would focus too 
much on law enforcement and  prosecution.

"But almost to a 'T,' everybody recognizes that  prevention is one of 
the key things that's got to  happen," he said.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who chaired  the working 
group, said the goal of the report is to  present the governor and 
Legislature with  recommendations they can act on to make a 
difference in  the battle against meth.

And she said one of the recommendations is that the  governor keep 
the group working by extending its  charter through 2008 and its 
agenda beyond meth to all  abused drugs.

Masto said at an earlier meeting one of the things the  working group 
has learned is that meth isn't the only  drug that needs this kind of 
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