Law Enforcement: Utah "Meth Cops" Lose Out on Health Claims

More than 50 Utah law enforcement officers have filed workers compensation claims over ailments they believe were caused by exposure to methamphetamine labs, but none have been approved, and most have been dismissed for lack of evidence or because officers sought dismissal in a bid to come up with evidence. Only five cases are still pending.
meth lab
"They have to have enough evidence to justify the claims," said Carla Rush, adjudication manager for the Utah Labor Commission, which handles the claims. "Preferably a doctor saying they have been injured in a work-related exposure to meth. That would be the best evidence."

Scores of Utah police officers participated in breaking down clandestine meth labs in the 1980s and 1990s, wearing only standard police-issue uniforms. That was before they understood the caustic nature of some of the chemicals involved in cooking meth. Now, officers on meth lab duty wear air tanks and hazmat suits.

Those officers from the old days began filing claims asserting that a variety of physical ailments they were suffering were the result of meth lab exposure. By 2006, the Utah legislature commissioned a half-million dollar study to explore the issue. But that study, which was meant to establish a causal link between meth exposure and everything from cancer to nerve damage, was inconclusive.

The state has also paid out tens of thousands of dollars to the Utah Meth Cops Project for a scientifically unsupported detox regime backed by the Church of Scientology. But toxicologists say that toxins would have left the officers' bodies long ago, and the detox program is little more than quackery.

How about a study of legalization, to eliminate the meth lab problem once and for all -- followed by a detox from the consequences of prohibition?

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Utah is a VERY conservative state. It's pretty hard to fool a Mormon.

Legalize yes; meth no!

1. There's a certain herb they could legalize instead, which can help cure some victims of ever wanting to waste a dime on meth again.

2. By the way, Mormons have the world's best record on resisting indoctrination into Nicotiana tabackum addiction.

borden's picture

legalize all drugs

Marijuana is certainly safer than methamphetamine, but that doesn't mean that meth prohibition is good. Meth prohibition just increases the average harm that's associated with its use. Plus, for many users meth is a positive help, no less so because of the horrors associated with it for some other users. And it's not going away regardless.

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

As a recovering meth head

As a recovering meth head and with many friends rotted into living corpses I find it rather hilarious that you would say meth is positive for any let alone many users. Mary jane yeah but drano and iodine not so much. Get real or shut up!

i agree

I do think all drugs should be a petty if it's personal use. Even meth. It's your choice to do whatever the fuck you want to do. What happened to a free country? I personally don't use meth. However it's been around for years and years. In fact was used in wars to keep thier army's awake and alert and ready to go. I KNOW marijuana is healthy. Why legalize smoking and alcohol when they are the most addictive and make marijuana, a natural plant, so illegal. Yeah, meth is made from some messed up stuff. Who cares! Your body, you should have the right to do what you will with it. If it was legal, there wouldn't be the violence and drug crimes that come with having to hide the drug and secretly sell it. After all, drugs cost so much because of the risk of getting caught with them. The government won't legal drugs because then it would prove them wrong, and if you haven't noticed how the government is "never wrong" then you obviously NEED drugs to think straight.


I have done many reports on this in college, and won many debates. I'm not just some shlung on the street. I'm an educated female in society. Respected at that, and i have always used drugs. I even have all my teeth and not 1 cavity.

Regulation is the key

And the key to regulation is legalization. Legalize, regulate, keep prices the cheaper than street prices and people will have little to no reason to go into this illegally. Unsafe mixtures and chemicals would be out of the mix and people can go on with their lives choosing what life is best for them.

$cientology and Narconon

If Utah is so conservative and it's so hard to fool a Mormon, how come they are paying a $cientology front-organisation to indoctrinate their officers as "treatment?"

Dr Jane.

Drug War Sweats Drugs

Yes, it’s speculative,” Ross said of the regimen. “But there is no other treatment being offered for these officers,” he points out.”

On the basis of this speculation, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, is granting $50,000 to the Utah Meth Cops Project detox center to treat eight officers with bogus meth decontamination programs sold by the Scientologists—the same group who claims SSRI anti-depressants like Prozac do not work.

And Shurtleff wants the governor to authorize another scarce $140,000 in hard times to ‘detox’ 20 more possible hypochondriacs and workers’ comp scammers.  Maybe the researchers will use a double-blind technique.  That way, Utahns can blind themselves to the sight of Scientologists basking on the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro enjoying all that state taxpayer cash.

BTW, according to the FBI, Utah suffers more con artist scams per capita than any other state, thanks largely to the well documented scientific ignorance and religiously based gullibility of certain Mormons.


human compassion

The police officers who were affected by the meth lab hazardous waste prior to proper hazmat methods for cleanup are NOT hypochondriacs. Nor are they malingering to get on disability. This problem is far more widespread than Utah and affects a far wider population than just the cops.

For example, there are a significant number of people who have purchased homes only to find that they were used as a meth lab either by the former renters or by squatters during the time when the house sat empty on the market. Even after the garbage from the meth lab is cleared away the people living in the home often experience a whole range of health problems from mild to severe. (See This is just one example of meth lab toxic waste poisoning.

The police officers who are now suffering because of this are just as much of a victim of the war on drugs as anyone else. We must not lost sight of our own capacity for human compassion.

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An eye test can be done early in childhood or during adolescent or adult life. It can be administered by eye doctors or by optical medical staff if certain problems are noticed on one's eyesight or as part of a complete medical exam. eye test for children

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