METH Diversion Program
Methamphetamine or "meth" is an addictive drug that is frequently made in illegal "labs" in homes, garages, and even wooded areas. The manufacture gives off an odor similar to nail polish remover or cat urine. Other possible signs of a lab are large amounts of cold medication, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, coffee filters, batteries, or antifreeze. These labs leave behind a great deal of toxic waste. For each pound of methamphetamine produced, five to six pounds of toxic waste is created. This toxic waste poses long term hazards, and can be present in soil and groundwater for years.
Allegan County has chosen to help curb the demand for meth through its award-winning Methamphetamine Diversion Program (see booklet below). The program is a unique blend of resources--partners in the program include:
- Allegan County Community Corrections
- Allegan City Police Department
- 57th District Court Probation
- 48th Circuit Court Probation
- Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program
- West Michigan Enforcement Team
- Allegan County Sheriff's Office
- Community Representatives
Preliminary results have been very encouraging. The multi-disciplinary program allows inmates to first "detox" then helps them to learn the cycles of abuse, to understand the relationships between substance abuse and criminal thoughts, and to understand the thoughts, situations, and actions that lead to relapse and recidivism. The program includes both individual and group counseling as well as drug testing, all with the inmate contributing to the expense. Program participants must attend AA/NA meetings, and upon release from jail, must be employed or attending school. The program has many other components which also help to contribute to its success.
In June of 2004, Allegan County's Methamphetamine Diversion Program (see booklet below) was presented an award by Scott Burns of the White house Office of National Drug Control Policy. The award, entitled "Exceptional Service Responsiveness to Rural Issues and Needs" is given annually to a program which has been found to be innovative in its response to community needs.
To learn more about Methamphetamine and other drugs, click on the links below: