While Iowa leaders recently passed what are considered the nation’s toughest anti-meth laws, the federal government is still considering how it should tackle the illegal drug nationwide. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin chairs an appropriations subcommittee hearing today that will focus on the meth abuse, treatment and research. Harkin says “Our star witness will be an Iowan, Vicki Sickels. Vicki was an A-student with a bright future ahead of her before she lost nearly everything to meth addiction. Fortunately, Vicki was able to turn things around. She’s now a counselor for a meth research program at Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines.” Harkin calls meth one of the most addictive and rapidly-spreading drugs the U.S. has ever known. He says Iowa is at the epicenter of the meth epidemic. Harkin says the proposed Bush administration budget would hurt efforts to whip meth by cutting funding to various law enforcement programs, the meth anhydrous tank lock project and meth lab clean-up money. He says there is a second front in the war on meth.Harkin says all experts claim law enforcement alone will never stop the meth epidemic and that more effective ways need to be found to stop people from trying meth in the first place, along with better treatments to help people kick addiction.
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