Methamphetamine, or meth, is a street drug that can be made from a combination of household items. Its popularity continues to rise because virtually anyone can obtain the proper ingredients for its production. Houses, barns and even motel rooms can be used to store what is known as a meth lab. It is important to know the telltale signs of people making meth, as everything involved with the production is a danger to society.
Meth is created with common store-bought materials, which is why it is one of the most prevalent drugs being manufactured. Although some of these materials seem harmless when purchased, such as nail polish remover with acetone, purchasing a large quantity of one ingredient or a combination of meth ingredients can be a red flag that a person is making meth.
Cold medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine are often needed in bulk to create meth. Such medications are closely monitored by pharmacies because of their high demand among meth producers. Other common materials include lithium batteries, iodine, lye, isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, matches and fertilizer.
People who are making meth will often exhibit strange behavior. They might appear paranoid and agitated, particularly with strangers. Those who are operating in a meth house or structure might also keep late hours and have a number of frequent visitors. Since meth labs are dangerously explosive, a meth producer might often step outside to smoke. Many people who produce meth are unemployed so they might rarely leave the premises of their meth lab.
The creation of meth requires a dangerous combination of noxious chemicals. This produces a very pungent odor that is difficult to hide. It can saturate a meth producer’s clothes and hair, as well as the house or structure being used as a meth lab. To combat these fumes, some people will try odd ways to ventilate their meth lab. They might have a number of fans or furnace blowers set up to air out the structure or they might leave their windows open regardless of weather conditions.
Excessive and Suspicious Trash
Many disposable products are used inside a meth lab, from empty soda bottles to duct tape. This results in a lot of trash that regularly needs to be disposed. Not only does a meth lab produce large quantities of waste, certain items are telltale signs of a meth operation. Empty chemical containers, empty bags of fertilizer, stained bottles and empty packages of cold medication are all suspicious. Some meth producers will attempt to burn this suspicious trash in the yard, resulting in telltale scorch marks in the grass.
Amy Simpson is a copywriter, editor and blogger. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Texas at Arlington and has specialized in new media writing for more than a decade. Simpson has written and edited content for outlets such as 4Kids Entertainment, Discovery Channel, FOX Television and MSN.