Salt Lake and five other Americasn cities will soon receive money to fight the spread of of methamphetamine, President Clinton announced Saturday.
The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) will divide $5 million in grants among Salt Lake, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Little Rock and Minneapolis - all cities with a documented methamphetamine problem.The central nervous stimulant, often called "meth", "crank" or "speed," i s manufactured in cladestine laboratories that pose a significant health risk to the community.
Meth use has spread wildly in Utah, including widespread problems in rural communities like Moab, where police say meth has become the drug of choice for young people.
Methamphetamine produces and increase in the brain chemical dopamine and allows the body to experience sensations of alertness and elation. It can keep people awake for days without sleep and a common side effect is paranoia.
Meth is already a top priority for Drug Enforcement Agency officials and other Utah law enforcement entities. More than 80 working meth labs have been dismantled since January, three times the number dismantled in the city of Los Angeles.
The grant money will be used by Salt Lake and the other communities to develop community policing strategies, which will help solve the problem. City officials can apply for up to $75,000.
In another announcement Saturday, President Clinton said communities in 42 states would receive grant money to expand drug courts. In Utah, Uintah County will receive $154,247.