Meth production and addiction can pose many problems for our communities. Methamphetamine, or “meth” for short, is a synthetic chemical. This means it is a manmade substance rather than one that is derived from a plant or other natural source. It is commonly made by “cooking” cough medicine mixed with a substance such as drain cleaner or battery acid to make it more potent. Meth is highly addictive.
Meth is usually made in a meth lab, which could be set up anywhere. From the outside a meth lab might look like any ordinary house or apartment. However, the effects a lab can have on the neighborhood it is in are anything but ordinary. The chemicals used in “cooking” meth are highly explosive. They present a constant risk to the building the lab is in, as well as surrounding buildings.
How Meth Can Impact Your Environment And Neighborhood
For every pound of meth created, there are five to seven pounds of toxic waste produced as a byproduct. The waste is often dumped in a river or stream, contaminating the local water supply. This can have an adverse affect on the wildlife in the area, as well as any humans who come into contact with the contamination.
In addition, the fumes released in the process of making meth are quite toxic. They seep into the walls and carpets of the building, creating a toxic environment. There are documented cases of families unknowingly moving into apartments that were previously used as meth labs. Environmental exposure to meth in a former meth lab has been linked to migraines, respiratory problems, and possibly even cancer.
A meth addict will do anything to get their next fix, including committing such crimes as muggings, murder, break-ins and rape, to name a few. A rise in meth use will inevitably lead to a rise in crime. This, in turn, creates a dangerous environment in your neighborhood.
In addition to meth addicts, meth “cooks” pose a very real threat. They are ruthless, immoral people who wouldn’t think twice about harming someone to protect their “business.” For this reason, if you suspect the presence of a meth lab in your neighborhood do NOT approach or try to investigate on your own. If you suspect you have located a meth lab, call 911 and leave the investigation to the professionals who are trained to deal with this dangerous situation.
How Meth Use Affects Children
One of the most overlooked effects of meth in a community has to do with the innocent children that are impacted by this drug. Children being raised by meth “cooks” are constantly exposed to toxic fumes and are at risk of burns or worse if the chemicals being used explode. A baby has no choice but to be in constant contact with surfaces that are saturated with harmful substances, such as the floors and furniture of the meth lab. They ingest the meth every time they put their fingers in their mouth. With their smaller bodies, even tiny amounts of meth can have a detrimental impact upon them.
Children of meth addicts suffer from neglect. Parents who are high on meth can zone out for days at a time, leaving their children to fend for themselves. These children often are too young to get their own food and water, so malnutrition is common.
Communities who care about whether there is meth use or production in their neighborhood and call for police assistance will reduce the crime in their area and will also potentially save lives.