That was the information shared with members of the Davis County Council of Governments last week, during a report on the Davis County Meth Initiative, a report put together by the Davis County Safe Home School Community Executive Committee.
North Layton Junior High Principal Dave Turner, who served on the committee, invited the mayors and county commissioners making up COG to attend a Meth and the Family workshop on Nov. 17, in which information on intervention and prevention will be discussed.
Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs, who is a member of the Governor's Meth Task Force, said Turner "has a lot of hope to share, even though meth is the horror of horrors."
She noted that the county "can no longer hide," from the fact meth is affecting so many in the population. She asked for a show of hands of those who know someone affected by meth, and a good number of the public officials raised their hands.
Speaking of the typical female meth user, Turner said that once a woman begins using meth, "within six months they are...addicted." It takes 18-36 months to get off meth once an addict decides they want to be clean.
"It's more expensive and time consuming than anything (drug) we've ever seen before," he said, adding, "If we don't do something about meth (now), we won't be able to do enough."
In terms of prevention, the Davis School District will be looking at a curriculum specific to meth in the eighth grade health curriculum and high school health classes.
Turner also mentioned the Good Landlord Program initiated in Ogden, in which rental property owners complete an eight-hour training before they can obtain a city license. They also must agree to evict tenants violating rental agreements and conduct criminal background checks.
After the program was initiated in Ogden, crime went down 12 percent in one year in rental properties, and overall crime went down in Ogden by 4 percent. Currently, Turner said, Clearfield is the only Davis County city actively pursuing the concept. Turner warned that those who can't get housing anymore in Ogden, will be looking for housing next in Davis County.
He said that available intervention services are being overwhelmed with clients, but that the courts and law enforcement are working on a four-tiered plan.
Turner said it costs the county $4 million to deal with the state felons currently incarcerated in the Davis County Jail, but the county is reimbursed only 1.2 million, and most crimes are linked to drugs in some way.
Downs said that Utah is on the forefront of battling the meth problem.