Tester Pushes Bill to Tackle Rising Methamphetamine Use in Montana

Methamphetamine Response Act would formally designate meth as emerging threat, provide resources to fight back

As concerns rise over methamphetamine use in Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is backing a bill that will help officials tackle the problem head-on.

Tester is cosponsoring the Methamphetamine Response Act, which would formally declare meth use an emerging drug threat and require the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to create a plan to combat meth use and prevent overdoses.

“Meth use is already a serious problem in Montana, and we need every resource available to fight back,” Tester said. “This bill will give Montana officials more tools to use in the battle against meth abuse and help keep the drug off the streets while giving families across our state access to the prevention programs and treatment they need to get back on their feet.”

The Methamphetamine Response Act would require ONDCP to produce a plan that includes a full assessment of the threat meth poses, data on the current availability of and demand for the drug, increased access to evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, and support for anti-meth law enforcement programs.

It would also require ONDCP to identify and develop:

  • Short- and long-term goals focused on reducing supply and demand reduction, and expanding the availability and effectiveness of treatment and prevention programs;
  • Performance measures for reaching the plan’s goals;
  • The level of funding needed to implement the plan; and
  • An implementation strategy, goals, and objectives for a media campaign.

Tester has worked hard to ensure Montana has the resources it needs to combat the growing meth crisis. He urged on President Trump’s ONDCP Director and Attorney General Barr to work together to address the issue and has advocated for additional funding for the ONDCP, which also administers the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the Drug Free Communities Programs in Montana. Tester has secured funding for drug taskforces in Montana through the COPS Anti-Meth program, Byrne JAG, and HIDTA, and secured a $1 million grant to help local officials stem the flow of meth and other dangerous drugs into Montana communities.