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Latest news: 04-15-09

Meth could affect brain development

SAN FRANCISCO - Prenatal exposure to methamphetamine may impact brain development, particularly in the white matter, researchers found.

Children whose mothers used the drug during pregnancy showed lower diffusion of molecules through all brain regions -- up to a 4% reduction in certain white matter areas -- than unexposed children (P=0.05), Christine Cloak, Ph.D., of the University of Hawaii, and colleagues reported online in Neurology.

Diffusion typically declines as children get older and axonal fibers become more compact, but the increases in fractional anisotropy expected with brain maturation were not seen among meth-exposed children in the brain imaging study.

Full story, MedPage Today

Senator pushes meth bill

SACRAMENTO - Sen. George Runner has introduced a measure that would add further protection to children who are exposed to homes or other structures that produce methamphetamine.

“Our initial goal is to shield innocent children who are put at great risk by this insidious and lethal drug,” Runner said in a press release. “This measure will also assist the activities of the Drug Endangered Children response teams, whose purpose is to break the cycle of child abuse, neglect and endangerment by those who are involved in methamphetamine.”

SB 157 would add a two-year enhancement penalty to anyone convicted of producing meth with children under the age of 16 present. It would add five years for each child under the age of 16 who suffers great bodily harm.

Currently, the penalty enhancement applies per case rather than per child present during the commission of a crime in a methamphetamine lab.

From The Daily Press

Tulsa police meth task force formed

TULSA, OK - The Tulsa Police Department has set up a task force to deal with the city's growing methamphetamine lab problem.

In a news release, Tulsa Police say its Special Investigations Division will be in charge of the task force.

Tulsa Police officer Jason Willingham says no additional manpower will be allocated to the task force, but rather, the department will increase resources to tackle the issue.

Willingham says in the release, the initiative will target known repeat offenders and their associates through intelligence based analysis.

In addition, Tulsa Police will be working closely with the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office to not only secure high bonds on these offenders once arrested but also to gain successful convictions.

Willingham says police officers will also continue working closely with local pharmacies and hardware stores on educational issues related to the purchase of items needed to produce methamphetamine.

He says it is the department's hope that these efforts will send a clear message to meth producers that Tulsa Police will find you and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.


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