New State Web Site Focuses On Methamphetamine Information

George Winner

February 21, 2006

Elmira, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) today said that a state-sponsored "Methamphetamine Electronic Clearinghouse" will provide law enforcement agencies, health care professionals, emergency services personnel, concerned citizens and others with a one-stop catalogue of methamphetamine-related information.

The new web site, administered by the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASES), is the product of a comprehensive anti-meth law Winner sponsored in 2005.

"Our new anti-meth law cleared the way for more aggressive and potent law enforcement to shut down meth manufacturers in New York State," said Winner. "But it's important that we remain vigilant through community awareness and education. Public information remains a powerful weapon in the fight against meth."

Winner sponsored several anti-meth measures approved by the Senate last year and helped advance initiatives to make it easier to prosecute manufacturers of the illegal drug. The state's new anti-meth law, approved last August, incorporates these initiatives into a comprehensive anti-meth strategy that implements tougher new criminal penalties to outlaw the operation of clandestine labs; promotes community awareness and education; and focuses on child protect initiatives and environmental dangers associated with meth labs.

Under the law, OASAS is charged with developing a statewide information program. The new "Methamphetamine Electronic Clearinghouse" is part of that effort.

According to OASAS, whichrecently launched the online clearinghouse, the Internet site is being developed as a primary source of public information and education on methamphetamine. State officials envision it as a "living" site, one that's continually revised to respond to new knowledge and developing concerns. It will provide specific information to audiences with unique needs such as mandated reporters, police agencies, fire fighters, ambulance personnel and others.

Winner said that OASAS is encouraging public comment on the site, which can be sent by e-mail to:

Some of the topics currently covered include:

> "How to Recognize the Signs of a Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratory";

> "Children at Clandestine Methamphetamine Labs: Helping Meth's Youngest Victims";

> "Tips for Teens About Methamphetamine"; and

> "Cleaning Up Former Methamphetamine Labs."