Health officials from Iowa and across the region who focus on treating the effects of methamphetamine are gathering for a summit today and tomorrow in Nebraska. Dianne Lowe is helping organize the Midwest Methamphetamine Conference in Lincoln and says there will be a number of presentations ranging from prevention programs to community costs.
Lowe says: "The focus on this conference is the social consequences of meth with a specific focus on public health. We want to emphasize that public health is a partner in addressing this issue and we want to be brought to the table. We want to be part of it. We have things to contribute." Lowe says there will be an emphasis on the Native American population in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota and Nebraska but they will also discuss how meth affects others.
She says, "Low-income people, minority populations, it’s affecting everybody, rural populations, the Native American populations. A lot of it is coming in from super labs in Mexico so we have some Mexican Americans that’s being affected, some large populations, so it’s really everybody." Lowe says they will also discuss what actually makes up the drug. She is hoping that once people see the drugs ingredients, they will never give it a try.
Lowe says ,"If the average person sat down and drank a bottle of Drano, it would kill them. But this is part of what’s in meth. It’s ridiculous what they put in it. It’s car batteries, it’s lye, it’s the anhydrous ammonia, it’s industrial cleansers." The two-day conference opens this morning at the Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln. It is open to the public. For more information, call 402-471-0881.