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Statewide meth summit starts today in Tacoma

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 29, 2008 at 4:00 am with No Comments »
September 29, 2008 4:00 am

Criminal justice officials, treatment providers, prevention specialists and politicians will gather today in Tacoma for a two-day methamphetamine summit.

This is the state’s seventh such summit on the meth epidemic. More than 275 people are expected to be in attendance for the event at the Hotel Murano, according to a press release from Pierce County.

The summit will kick off this morning with a “Parade of Transformation,” which is billed as an hour and 15 minutes of speeches from 22 speakers. (A press release from Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office said she’ll be addressing the summit at 8:30 a.m., extending the parade to 90 minutes.)

Other politicians in attendance will be U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Pierce County Executive John W. Ladenburg.

Here’s a little more from the press release.

The summit’s goal is to further equip the attendees to carry on the fight against meth in their communities, according to Executive Director Terree Schmidt-Whelan of the Pierce County Alliance. “We want to introduce the National Methamphetamine Training and Technical Assistance Center to the meth-impacted agencies and communities in our state,” she said.

The Tacoma-based center is designed to assist communities across the nation in the fight against the manufacture, distribution and use of methamphetamine. The center is being formed through a partnership of the Pierce County Alliance and Safe Streets Campaign, both of which are part of the Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative. Funding for the center was allocated through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

“We also want to showcase the ongoing WSMI efforts across the state to combat the manufacture, distribution and use of methamphetamine,”

Schmidt-Whelan said.

The benefits of the Innovative Treatment Model and research that validates the effectiveness of Safe Streets Campaign-inspired Methamphetamine Action Teams will be presented during the summit.

Attendees also will hear of current methamphetamine trends, such as trafficking of stronger forms of meth by Latino gangs.

I’ll be at the event this morning and will report back.

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