As state legislators debate new restrictions on cold and allergy medications that are being used to make methamphetamine, an official from a western Iowa drug treatment center hopes the efforts succeed in cutting meth production — and addiction. Chad Jensen is executive director of New View Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention Center. Jensen says products containing pseudoephedrine should be put behind the counter. Jensen says “By limiting access or at least being aware of who’s buying this ephedrine and these kinds of products, it is going to have an effect on the amount of meth that’s being made.” He says there are other key fronts in the battle against methamphetamine that need to be remembered as lawmakers craft new legislation. Jensen says “You have to understand that people don’t just start using meth out of the blue. They work their way up and they start with a lot of gateway drugs.” He points to alcohol, tobacco and marijuana as “gateways” and says continuing efforts to warn Iowans about addiction to these substances will have a larger impact on the state’s meth problem.Jensen says “I certainly appreciate the meth prevention that we’re trying to do, and we’re trying to get the word out that meth is a very addictive, scary drug that’s damaging Iowa families. We certainly want to emphasize that, but more so we need to emphasize that it’s these gateway drugs that we also have to really be aware of.” Jensen suggests that parents can keep their kids’ attention by talking about drugs while they are a captive audience in the car. He also says it’s never too soon to start with age-appropriate warnings about the dangers of drug addiction. New View has offices in: Carroll, Audubon, Guthrie Center, Jefferson and Sac City. Its website is “www.newview.info”.
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