Madam Speaker, battling the meth epidemic is one of my top priorities here in Congress. Last year we passed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act and I was pleased that the legislation included several important international meth precursor controls that I drafted. We've made good progress with controlling the supply of meth precursors and other enforcement issues, but so far treatment issues have been largely neglected.
This is why I am introducing the Enhanced Methamphetamine Treatment Grants Assistance Act. My legislation will create three separate grant programs under SAMHSA, each one targeted at a particular treatment need.
The first grant program will award grants to community organizations to coordinate wrap-around services for meth addicts rejoining the community. I've heard over and over again just how important these wrap-around services are, like housing and transportation assistance, job training and ongoing mental health counseling. Meth treatment does not end when an addict leaves a treatment facility. They need comprehensive services that will help keep them off meth and rebuild their lives, which is why my bill will help communities build a network of these vital wrap-around services.
The second grant program is an expansion of the existing substance abuse treatment program for pregnant and postpartum women to include all parents. Priority will still be given to those pregnant and postpartum women, but we're also going to make sure that parents can get treatment too so that they can get clean and keep their children out of the foster care system.
Finally, the third grant program will target those addicts who actively seek treatment, only to find out that they will have to wait months before a bed will be available to them. My legislation directs grant money to treatment programs that are going to target the people who just can't get treatment, no matter how badly they want it, so they don't have to go through the criminal justice system to receive help.
I am committed to expanding treatment resources so providers have the resources to reach more people and addicts can get the help they need. I urge my colleagues to join me in this goal and to support the Enhanced Methamphetamine Treatment Grants Assistance Act.
153 Congr. Rec. E1597. (2007). https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/volume-153/issue-118/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/E1597-2