San Francisco Meth Task Force To Make Recommendations
San Francisco's Crystal Methamphetamine Task Force on Wednesday plans to recommend the expansion of prevention, treatment and law-enforcement programs for methamphetamine users in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Steven Tierney, co-leader of the task force and deputy director for programs and services for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said the task force was created to address the connection between meth use and new HIV infections.
The 75-member task force, comprising representatives from a variety of service programs and city departments, will recommend more rehabilitation and treatment options, as well as more space for 12-step programs and similar counseling. In addition, the task force will discuss goals to expand law-enforcement and treatment efforts to include more women, transgender people, teenagers and young adults.
San Francisco police narcotics unit head Capt. Tim Hettrich, a member of the task force, said that meth use in the city is more common among gay men and that law-enforcement efforts have targeted that population (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/8).
A survey of 4,197 men who have sex with men found that between January and July of this year, 10% had used meth in the previous six months, compared to 18% in 2003, according to the Stop AIDS Project.
The survey "may show that crystal meth use among San Francisco's gay men ... is falling," the Chronicle reports. However, meth experts said the survey's results must be corroborated because the study did not use a random sample or scientific methodology.
Stop AIDS officials said numbers may be declining because of treatments that focus on harm reduction, prevention campaigns, cycles in drug popularity and firsthand experience with the drug (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/4).