Comprehensive approach is best anti-meth weapon
Whether the goal is a massive statewide initiative or a tiny
community action team, the organizing principle must make
room for a diverse membership.
The best examples of anti-methamphetamine efforts are those
whose leaders include law enforcement, treatment
professionals and prevention advocates. Others frequently
included in the mix are those concerned with ecology, social
work and the courts.
Methamphamine is not a simple drug problem. Meth is a
complex social problem that intrudes on many segments of
many lives when left unchecked. Without a comprehensive
approach to attacking it, meth will ultimately find a way
strengthen its foothold.
Two examples of meth initiatives done with such a broad-based
foundation can be found in Washington state and Wyoming.
Founding member of the Washington State Methamphetamine
Initiative Priscilla Lisicich writes:
"The Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative was founded as a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach entailing law enforcement, forensics, professional training, environmental and health services, community mobilization and public education and treatment. State, county and community agencies teamed up with congressional leaders, federal agencies, and national and local nonprofit organization to integrate law enforcement, prevention/intervention through community mobilization and treatment to create innovative approaches to the problem of meth."
In Wyoming the sentiment is similar according to Tom Pagel. the Director of the Division of Criminal
Investigation (DCI) for Wyoming at the time that state's meth initiative was begun:
“We had one chance to pitch our plan to the legislators,” Pagel said. “We had to be smart about formulating a strategy.” Rather than compartmentalizing the problem along jurisdictional lines, the board created an integrated approach. Because resources were scarce, an integrated approach offered
the best chance of obtaining more potent results for a given sum of money.