The state drug czar says he’ll switch up the focus of the state war on drugs a little bit in his 2006 strategy. Dale Woolery, the spokesman for Iowa Drug Policy Coordinator Marvin Van Haaften, says the change is brought on by the success of Iowa’s meth law. Woolery says the law that strictly controls one of the main ingredients used to make meth has led to an 82-percent reduction in illegal meth labs.
Woolery says that’s great news as far as crime reduction, reducing environmental hazards and the danger to kids — he says it hasn’t had much if any impact on the demand for meth and other drugs. Woolery says they now need to work harder on stopping the demand for drugs and in drug abuse treatment.
Woolery says the state also can’t afford to give all the attention to illegal drugs.
He says, “Off the radar too many times is alcohol, which continues to be the number one drug of abuse in the State of Iowa.” He says there’s evidence of that in traffic accidents, O-W-I convictions and just the sale and consumption of alcohol, “it continues to be the king of the hill when it comes to substance abuse.”
Woolery says they need to address the problems created by all drugs. He says, “We need to have additional treatment and smarter treatment, not only for those who abuse alcohol, but other drugs as well.” Woolery says they have some specific recommendations for handling drug treatment.
He says they are looking at family oriented treatment. Woolery says the strategy discusses a treatment prison or treatment campus. He says they don’t have a proposal on that, but he says the state of Illinois has such a facility and it might be a better way to do business. The complete 2006 Iowa Drug Control Strategy can be viewed at: www.state.ia.us/odcp.