Radical steps may be needed to stem Oklahoma’s spreading methamphetamine problem, lawmakers were told Thursday.
“It’s a very difficult subject, one that’s going like a wildfire in Oklahoma,” said Rep. John Nance. A study of the problem is being conducted by the House Criminal Justice Committee.
According to the Associated Press, law enforcement officials testified that a strictly law-and-order approach to the problem will not work because most Oklahoma meth makers are addicted and not making the drug for a profit.
The director of the state’s Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs suggested expanding treatment programs and placing tighter controls on common cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, the chemical most used in meth manufacturing.
He also said lawmakers could look at developing a civil commitment procedure for small-time meth manufacturers. Under such a system, meth makers would be confined after their arrest for weeks or months so they could be detoxified.