Washington—President Joe Biden today signed into law the Methamphetamine Response Act, which Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Representatives Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and John Curtis (R-Utah) introduced to help address the rising abuse of methamphetamines.
The law requires the government to declare methamphetamine an “emerging drug threat” and to develop a response plan specific to methamphetamine. A recent National Institutes of Health study found that methamphetamine-related overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 and 2019.
“I thank President Biden for signing this important legislation into law,” said Senator Feinstein. “Methamphetamine abuse has soared in recent years, with the NIH estimating that meth overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 and 2019. Now that our bill has become law, the Office of National Drug Control Policy will develop and implement a plan specifically targeting the rising use of methamphetamine. We can and must do more to prevent these senseless overdose deaths.”
“After working on this critical issue for the last few years, I’m pleased to see our Methamphetamine Response Act has been signed into law after receiving strong bipartisan support from Congress,” said Senator Grassley. “While meth isn’t a new drug, traffickers are finding ways to increase its potency and widen distribution, which has resulted in a spike in overdose rates. Our new law will help law enforcement better respond to the challenges presented by drug traffickers’ evolving tactics, and it will ensure our federal partners continue prioritizing a response and strategy to address the meth crisis. I’d like to thank Senator Feinstein for her partnership on this issue.”
“Once known as the meth capital of the United States, San Diego has a long history in working to combat methamphetamine production and addiction. Law enforcement officials still refer to our region as ‘ground zero’ for the nation’s meth problem, and a surge in the amount of the drug smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years has caused overdose cases to skyrocket,” said Representative Peters. “The new law will address this issue head-on by requiring the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to develop, implement and make public a national plan to prevent methamphetamine addiction and overdoses from becoming a crisis. As meth-related deaths continue to rise with each passing year, we must recognize meth as an emerging threat nationwide.”
“Communities across Utah and the United States are facing the challenges created by increased Methamphetamine abuse and addiction, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Curtis. “Recognizing the need for bi-partisan federal policy, the Methamphetamine Response Act designates this as an emerging drug threat. It will develop and implement a nationwide plan to thwart the presence and usage of this highly dangerous drug. I am proud to have helped usher this legislation through Congress and into common law.”
What the bill does:
- Declares methamphetamine an emerging drug threat, as defined in section 702 of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998.
- Requires ONDCP to develop, implement and make public, within 90 days of enactment, a national emerging threats response plan that is specific to methamphetamine, in accordance with section 709(d) of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998.
- The ONDCP plan must be updated annually and include the following:
- An assessment of the methamphetamine threat, including the current availability of, and demand for the drug, and evidence-based prevention and treatment programs, as well as law enforcement programs;
- Short- and long-term goals, including those focused on supply and demand reduction, and on expanding the availability and effectiveness of treatment and prevention programs;
- Performance measures pertaining to the plan’s goals;
- The level of funding needed to implement the plan; and
- An implementation strategy, goals, and objectives for a media campaign.
· Senator Grassley currently serves as co-chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Senator Feinstein is the immediate past co-chair.
· The Methamphetamine Response Act passed the Senate in November 2020, but did not pass the House before the end of the congressional session. The bill was reintroduced in March 2021.
· Senators Feinstein and Grassley wrote an op-ed in July 2021 discussing strategies to address rising drug abuse and overdoses. Senator Feinstein also wrote an op-ed in December 2020 about the rising use of methamphetamines.
Biden Signs Feinstein, Grassley Methamphetamine Bill into Law