The methamphetamine epidemic we have in this country has invaded communities and neighborhoods that you wouldn't expect. Meth labs can be discovered in all kinds of areas. An upscale neighborhood in a small community can find their quiet street invaded by police when it is discovered someone's basement is being used to cook meth. This post will address what you can look for in your neighborhood to spot a meth lab. If you, a loved one, or a friend need alcohol or drug rehabilitation in Columbus OH, be sure to call Legacy Freedom. Our outpatient treatment options really work for people that need help with substance abuse problems.
One of the first things you may notice is a smell. The smell of meth is not one that can be hidden. The larger the meth lab the more you will smell it. You may think there is a gas leak at first, but if it persists call local authorities to investigate.
You may notice more traffic in the neighborhood. This will be unfamiliar traffic. People will be coming and going at all hours of the day. This can be indicate not just a meth lab but a meth house. Meth addicts are "up" for days and do not follow a typical pattern of discretion.
If there is a large amount of meth being made you will quickly begin to see the debris associated with the meth cooking process. If it is a smaller lab you may not see as much of this debris. The shake and bake method might be the one being used. This only involves one pot and making small amounts at a time. Some things to look for would be:
- Gas Cans
- Coffee Filters
- Glass Pyrex or Corning Dishes
- Jugs and Bottles
- Tape and Clamps
- Aluminum Foil
- 2 Liter Bottles
- 20 lb. Propane Cylinders
- Hot Plates
- Ice Chests or Plastic Storage Containers
- Fire Extinguishers
- Towels and Sheets
- Laboratory Beakers and Glassware
- Lye (Red Devil Brand Usually)
- Iodized Salt
- Starter Fluid
- Camping Fuel
- Matches (Lots of them)
- Drain Opener (Draino, Liquid Fire etc.)
- Measuring spoons
- Rubber Gloves
- Rubber Tubing
These are tools of the trade that you may observe inside a garage or window in the neighborhood. Keep in mind spotting these items doesn't necessarily mean that there is a meth lab in your neighborhood, some of these items can also be used to make a legal substance such as beer. The following materials are needed to actually make the meth. If these are present then it is most likely a meth lab.
- Pseudoephedrine (found in many cold tablets)
- Muriatic acid
- Alcohol (rubbing, Isopropyl)
- Ether (engine starter)
- Sulfuric Acid (drain cleaner)
- Toluene (brake cleaner)
- Red Phosphorus (matches, road flares)
- Lithium (batteries)
- MSM (cutting agent)
- Cat Litter
- Trichloroethane (gun scrubber)
- Anhydrous Ammonia (farm fertilizer)
- Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
These are just some of the most common items that are needed to make meth. A homemade meth lab is extremely dangerous. Explosions are possible, and actually happen a lot. If you suspect something is wrong in your neighborhood contact the proper authorities to investigate.
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