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Vice president coming to Billings next week to learn about Montana’s meth crisis

Posted at 1:49 PM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:48:55-04

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Steve Daines announced Friday that he is bringing Vice President Mike Pence to Billings on Wednesday to discuss Montana’s meth crisis.

Pence will join Daines at RiverStone Health for a briefing from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Yellowstone Substance Abuse Coalition.

“Montana has a crisis on its hands. Mexican meth is pouring into our state and tearing families and communities apart,” Daines said. “I’ve been fighting hard to tackle this growing issue all over our state and I’m very grateful to welcome Vice President Mike Pence to Billings next week to continue this fight. Together with the Trump administration and folks all over Montana, we must win this fight for our great state.”

Billings Police Lt. Brandon Wooley said police will hold a briefing next week to discuss expected delays or possible road closures related to the vice president’s visit.

Daines will discuss with Pence his legislation, the Child Protection and Family Support Act, which was recently passed.

They will also be meeting with local officials to discuss combating the crisis with treatment, prevention and enforcement.

The Rimrock Foundation, an adult inpatient treatment program in Billings, is part of the and will join the vice president on Wednesday.

Rimrock CEO Lenette Kosovich said drug use keeps growing, especially meth.

“It’s devastating to families,” Kosovich said. “We’re watching children being taken away from their mothers and fathers. We’re seeing a crime tick-up. It’s really impacting our entire community in a negative way. With Vice President Pence visiting, we really believe that he’s understanding this is a problem that is in rural communities or rural states and it gives him an opportunity to see just the effect.”

Daines has been a strong advocate for fighting Montana’s meth crisis. He is working on legislation to address the rise in drug-addicted births and fighting for meth-related federal programs that address the problem.