Meth is a powerful and highly addictive drug that can easily be manufactured. Because the production of meth doesn't require an elaborate set up for the illicit drug to be produced, innocent lives are put in harm's way every day because they're living near a dwelling where it's being manufactured.
Meth lab setups can range in sizes from super labs to one-pot methods so unfortunately they can be located anywhere these days.
Illicit meth labs are found in homes, apartments, mobile homes, garages, storage sheds, barns, vacant buildings, in hotel rooms and in various outdoor locations. Meth labs don't have to be stationary either, unlike large sophisticated methamphetamine operations, portable meth labs can be easily assembled and taken anywhere. Portable meth labs are small in size, extremely mobile and are commonly found in vehicles anymore.
The newest process of meth manufacturing is known as "one pot" or Shake-and Bake" and many meth users are now producing their own supply of the drug for personal use. The one pot meth process can be produced in a soda bottle or other plastic beverage container which makes this method highly mobile. One pot meth labs are extremely common anymore and can be concealed very easily inside backpacks, diaper bags, purses and even carried inside some pockets.
Meth Lab Dangers
Just because a meth lab may be small in size that doesn't make it any less dangerous, not only to the people producing the drug but also to others that may be exposed to the chemicals and other dangers associated with them. Meth labs present serious dangers from fires, explosions and exposure to the hazardous chemical ingredients used to produce the illicit drug. The chemical ingredients that are used to make meth are tremendously dangerous and some of them are highly explosive. At any time during the cooking process these chemicals can ignite and catch fire or possibly explode and the whole neighborhood could be exposed to the toxic substances. Unfortunately this happens much too often and sadly innocent children end up getting seriously burned and injured because they were inside the dwelling when the meth lab exploded.
Fires and explosions aren't the only dangers associated with meth labs. Just being exposed to the toxic chemicals used to cook meth is extremely dangerous and poses a range of health risks including:
- Lack of coordination
- Severe chemical burns
- Serious respiratory complications
- Internal organ damage
- Pulmonary edema
Signs Associated with Home Based Meth Production
Meth labs of all sizes are commonly found inside residential dwellings and there are often some tell-tale signs indicating that methamphetamine production may be taking place inside the residence. Some of the signs indicating a home based meth lab may be on the premises include:
- A strong chemical, ammonia (like cat urine) scent coming from the residence.
- The windows are always covered up or darkened preventing anyone on the outside from being able to see inside the dwelling. The windows and doors may even be heavily barred.
- Excessive amounts of garbage containing large quantities of various empty chemical containers such as antifreeze, drain cleaner, acetone and anhydrous ammonia. Among the trash there may also be numerous quantities of other items such as; empty packages of cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine (acting ingredient in meth), rolls of duct tape, chemical stained coffee filters, kitty litter packages and dismantled lithium batteries.
- A home based meth residence may have an intricate security system and guard dogs or a much less elaborate security method. There may be signs on the property saying 'Keep Out' or 'Beware of Dog' but there may be no other indication that an animal even resides on the premise. There may even be hidden surveillance cameras or listening devices on the property to alert those inside the dwelling of anyone approaching the residence.
- Frequent visitors coming to the residence during the day and night and only staying for short periods of time. Activity at the residence is typically during odd hours especially late at night.
Do You Think Theres a Meth Lab in Your Neighborhood?
Meth labs are extremely dangerous but so are the chemicals and debris that may be found in the trash. If you suspect there may be a meth lab inside a residence or in any location never confront the tenants or investigate the situation yourself. Not only are meth labs dangerous but the occupants could very well be too. Stay safe and report your concerns to authorities in your local area and let them do the investigating instead.