Utah – THE POLICE: Many blame health problems on years of busting meth labs

OREM, UTAH – Officer Terry Sparks says he feels like he was beaten with a sledgehammer.

The pounding headache was bad enough, but the surging nausea made it almost unbearable. He gathered his energy and once again entered the nondescript clinic in this rural community south of Salt Lake City.

The side effects of his treatment there are a price he is willing to pay to purge his body of toxins he believes have built up in his system after years of exposure to meth labs laden with poisonous chemicals and fumes.

“I had my doubts when I heard about it,” said Sparks, 45. “… If it doesn’t work, I’m not out anything but time. If it works, then my quality of life will improve.”

Sparks, a veteran narcotics officer, is in the Utah Meth Cops Project, a four-week program whose techniques were created by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. The project aims to rid officers’ bodies of poisonous chemicals they believe were absorbed during their investigations of countless meth labs.

Supporters say it is simply a miracle. Some critics question its effectiveness and say there is no scientific evidence it works, or even that the officers’ ailments are caused by their lab work.