News Release


DATE: January 14, 2002

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



On their way to school, your kids walk past a house where a drug dealer is doing business. A family member has a meth problem, and needs treatment. Somebody dumped a load of chemicals in the canyon near your home, chemicals that could be toxic leftovers from a drug lab.

How can you deal with these problems? Help is just a mouse-click away, on That's the website of the County of San Diego Methamphetamine Strike Force, where people can get referrals into drug treatment programs, or report drug-related crime.

The website is the newest tool the Strike Force is using to address meth problems in San Diego. The website is linked to a Hotline (1-877-No 2 Meth), which has received thousands of calls since it was established five years ago.

"Every year, hundreds of people call our Hotline to find solutions to drug problems," according to Second District Supervisor Dianne Jacob. "Now, the Methamphetamine Strike Force's website gives people in San Diego County
another source for information and help."

"The Strike Force website started as part of my page on the county website. But last summer, with the acquisition of the domain name, the Strike Force website became far easier to access," Jacob said. "Visitors to the website can learn about the dangers of methamphetamine," said Strike Force Co-Chair Dr. Rodger Lum, Ph.D. Lum is also the Director of the County Health and Human Services Agency.

"There's also a section called Getting Help," Lum said. "One click of the mouse brings up a list of public-sector service providers. People who need drug treatment can find a program in their area. And the drug treatment providers aren't just for methamphetamine users. Anyone with a drug or alcohol problem can seek help on the website."

Website visitors can also use the Stop Meth Crime web page to reporting drug activity, or to help find drug treatment programs. That information is handled like the tips that come in on the existing Meth Hotline. Reports of drug activity are forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. The tips are anonymous and confidential, and will be used only to respond to the person who submitted the information, or to investigate a possible crime. The Hotline has received tips leading to
arrests in neighboring counties.

But many calls to the Hotline aren't referred to police. This year, more than one-fifth of the calls to the hotline came from people seeking help with drug problems. Hotline staffers refer those callers to community-based agencies, where they can get counseling and medical referrals. Now, people can get the same kind of help through the website.

Even though hasn't been publicized, it's already received tips, and even a request for help from a woman in Arizona. Staffers referred that person to authorities in her own county.

"The new website can make our county a safer, healthier place," said Undersheriff Jack Drown, who co-chairs the Methamphetamine Strike Force. "As law enforcement develops more community-oriented policing and problem-solving methods, we depend on citizen participation. When someone reports a drug dealer or a meth-cooker's dumpsite, it helps. And every time a meth user gets into a treatment program, it reduces drug-related activity in our neighborhoods."

The County of San Diego Methamphetamine Strike Force is an interdisciplinary organization that includes representatives from local, state, and federal representatives from public health, law enforcement, judiciary, education, treatment, prevention, and intervention agencies.