New meth statistics from U.S. Attorney's Office

The U.S. Attorney's Office said they seized 227 pounds of meth from April 2018 to the end of 2019 in Yellowstone County. They said that would have a street value of $1.7 million. 

They said they have been targeting meth distributors, armed robbers and violent felons with firearms in a program they call "Project Safe Neighborhoods." From the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019, there were 495 Project Safe Neighborhoods prosecutions in Montana.

Of those, 213 prosecutions were in Yellowstone County from April 2018 to the end of 2019.

K12 Executive Director for Billings Public Schools Brenda Koch said, "We're very concerned with the drug use occurring in Yellowstone County and especially within our community, and the impact that's having on education."

Billings Public Schools is partnering with the DEA to bring substance abuse prevention parent presentations to the schools. Koch said those will happen over the next couple of years and may start this school year. The DEA is also working on age appropriate presentations to give in Billings middle schools and high schools.

In helping to prevent substance abuse in kids, Koch said the number one thing parents can do is talk to their kids.

She said, "The number one piece of advice I have for parents is to be very involved in their children's lives. Know what your children are doing. Know who their friends are. Ask them questions."

The DEA said they welcome questions from parents and are willing to offer help in talking to their kids about substance abuse. You can call the DEA at (406) 655-2900 and ask for Stacy Zinn.

For more information from the DEA on Meth, you can go here. For resources on meth from drugfree.org, you can go here. For a Yellowstone County Substance Abuse Needs Assessment done in June 2019 by the United Way, you can go here.  

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