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Walden Backs Anti-Meth, Child Drug Protection Bills

Press Release

Location: Medford, OR

Walden Backs Anti-Meth, Child Drug Protection Bills

Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today announced his support of two anti-drug pieces of legislation at a meeting with the Jackson County Meth Task Force. Walden is a member of the Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine, and is in the midst of a swing through southern Oregon following the completion of his 312th round trip between Oregon and Washington, D.C.

"Through the many town halls and meetings I have had across the state, I have personally witnessed the total destruction that meth can cause to families and communities," Walden said. "We must do all we can to control the spread of this scourge and invest in prevention. But we also must find creative ways to help rehabilitate those already affected and protect innocent and vulnerable children who are through no fault of their own caught in the destructive web of meth addiction. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to identify more solutions and funding to fight this terrible epidemic."

Walden also today announced that the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) will award a $6 million grant to the Oregon State Police to acquire technology that focuses on data information-sharing and/or an enhancement of voice interoperability with regional, state, and federal partners. The funding will support projects aimed at facilitating the sharing of information — either data or voice — across multiple jurisdictions within a region or state, with the ultimate objective of increasing public safety. Walden submitted a letter to the COPS program in support of the Oregon State Police's application in June.

The two bills that Congressman Walden will cosponsor:

Family-Based Meth Treatment Access (HR 405): This bill reauthorizes a grant program supporting comprehensive, family-based substance abuse treatment programs, with the goal of creating and expanding 70 more of such programs nationwide over the next five years. When meth abusers are incarcerated and their children placed in the child welfare system, the fiscal costs are astounding and the social costs are immeasurable. There is no doubt that we need tough law enforcement to eradicate meth from our communities. But we should also be willing to lend a helping hand to those who want to stay sober and keep their families together.

Drug Endangered Children Act of 2007 (HR 1199): This bill extends funding for a successful program for drug-endangered children at $20 million a year for 2008 and 2009. The Drug Endangered Children grant program provides grants to improve coordination between the state and local agencies that provide assistance to drug endangered children and aid the transition of these children to safe residential environments. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), over 15,000 children were found at meth labs from 2000 to 2004. This problem is hardly limited to methamphetamine. A recent Health and Human Services study found that over 1.6 million children live in a home where at least one parent abuses illicit drugs, including meth, cocaine, heroin, and prescription medicines.

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