Utah has led the nation in reducing the number of dangerous methamphetamine labs over the last seven years, but that success came at a heavy price. Many of the police officers who voluntarily went into these toxic homes to make Utah safer are suffering ill effects from the harmful chemicals they encountered in those labs.

Having witnessed myself the heroic acts of our police officers, I felt that we could not stand by as a community while those who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect us were becoming ill. I decided that something needed to be done.

In the fall of 2007, I helped launch the Utah Meth Cops Project, the first detoxification program of its kind to help first responders exposed to illicit drug labs. The Utah Meth Cops Project uses the Hubbard sauna detoxification method, the same protocol used by the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.

Very early in the delivery of the project, the physician and staff noticed that police officers who had been exposed to meth labs were suffering from a cluster of symptoms not seen to such a dramatic extent in “non-meth” cops or in the civilian population. Those symptoms include frequent headaches, severe acid reflux and esophageal problems, joint pain, insomnia, depression and others.

I am very proud to announce that the Utah Meth Cops Project has celebrated its 80th completion. The success of this program has been impressive. We have seen a significant reduction of symptoms and a remarkable improvement in overall health and well being. It is our hope to assist the rest of Utah’s exposed police officers this year, and to start bringing relief to exposed officers from other states.

The Heroes Health Fund was established to assist National Guardsmen, war veterans and firefighters regain their quality of life. Due to the financial circumstances of these brave officers, firefighters and soldiers, made worse by ill health, we have committed to make this program available to them free of charge. The state of Utah and the federal government have generously provided some grants, but in these times of economical woes we must look beyond the government for help. Thus we are reaching out to the community, looking for financial support. It is our intention to provide the detoxification program to affected first responders who would like to participate. I am certain that you will want to be a part of a program that will help improve the lives of these often unsung heroes. This is why I am asking you to join me in the support of this charitable program.

Mark Shurtleff
Utah Attorney General