METH FREE FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 23, 2008)
Mrs. CUBIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in partnership with Representative Darlene Hooley to address an issue that transcends district boundaries and party lines--methamphetamine addiction.
While we hail from different political parties, Representative Hooley and I are natural partners in the fight against meth. We both represent rural, western districts that have struggled with the horrible effects of the meth epidemic. We both feel that we need a comprehensive approach to fighting meth, including increased education, awareness, and treatment for the addicted.
For the benefit of Wyoming, Oregon, and other rural areas across the Nation, we decided to combine our work into one bill, H.R. 6901, the Meth Free Families and Communities Act. This legislation incorporates portions of H.R. 405, the Family-Based Meth Treatment Access Act, which I introduced in both the 109th and 110th Congresses. My meth treatment provisions, combined with the education and awareness provisions authored by Representative Hooley, will give our citizens more tools to fight meth in our schools, in places of work, and in the family unit itself.
Too many young men and women in Wyoming are getting hooked on meth. In a survey conducted in my home State of Wyoming, nearly half of Wyoming's young adults believe there are significant benefits to meth use, including weight loss and happiness.
It's this misperception that leads young people into the nightmare of meth. These people have families, and children, that suffer right along with them. We need increased awareness in Wyoming. We also need treatment options for those that succumb to meth addiction.
I crafted the provisions of H.R. 6901 that reauthorize the pregnant and parenting women grant program. These grants support family-based treatment centers, which meet the needs of the entire family--mother, father, and children, rather than just the addict. This means healthy mothers, healthy fathers, and safe and healthy children. Every success story is one less family torn apart by meth.
H.R. 6901 authorizes over $110 million for family-based treatment over 5 years. We need this funding in rural areas like Wyoming that otherwise lack treatment options. This legislation points us in that direction,
I know that some question the wisdom of spending taxpayer dollars on drug treatment. I don't think we can afford not to invest in treatment. The cost of treatment pales in comparison to what meth has cost the taxpayer through our courtrooms, our prisons, our emergency rooms, and our foster care system. Moreover, the emotional cost to Wyoming's families has been immeasurable. Family treatment is a sound investment, one that this body should make.
I want to thank Representative Hooley for her leadership and willingness to tackle the meth problem in a bipartisan fashion. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in support of H.R. 6901, which will make a real difference for meth-affected families in Wyoming and across the Nation.