Some people wonder if there's a drug problem in Utah. Andy Anderson, of the Utah State Narcotics and Liquor Law Enforcement Bureau, hasn't wondered for a long time.
He knows there's a problem and says many people either aren't willing to admit it or don't recognize a "horrendous situation."A workshop speaker Friday at the 4th annual Utah Federation for Drug-Free Youth conference, Anderson says more Utahns should become aware of drug use and abuse and try to prevent it.
"I don't believe the people of this state would tolerate the (existing) drug situation, but it seems they aren't aware of the magnitude of the situation," Anderson said.
Since May 1979, Anderson has been the bureau's supervisory agent for northern Utah. He declined to give the number of agents employed by the bureau but said some people might consider the state easy prey if they had that figure.
An indication of the drug situation, Anderson said, is reflected in the amount of cocaine confiscated by the Utah Highway Patrol. That alone "should be obvious that we have a very substantial amount of cocaine coming through Utah."
Considering Utah's geographical proximity to the Caribbean and travel time required from that area, Anderson said 30 to 50 planes, for example, could easily be landing a month in Utah in the summer during the marijuana-growing season.
Anderson and others with expertise in the drug field say drug use and distribution is prevalent in all Utah schools, neighborhoods and communities. Anderson said he believes stricter law enforcement must be combined with continued emphasis on education and other prevention methods.
In a separate workshop, Chris Pella, recruiting coordinator for the Brigham Young University football team, discussed "How to Get Kids to Perform at Their Best."
Pella said he bases a lot of his efforts on what he called the "4-Ds of Success": Desire, Dedication, Discipline and Determination. The coach, who was head coach at Utah State University before moving to BYU, cited an example of a telephone survey among the top four teams and the four lowest-ranking teams of the National Football League. Players were contacted on Monday, their day off, to see what they were doing to improve themselves, Pella said.
Eighty percent of the players on the top four teams were out doing something constructive, but more than 80 percent of the players on the other four squads were still home in bed.