Meth labs, also known as clandestine drug labs are a hazard to you and your community. Recognizing a lab is the first step in eliminating the danger that is a clandestine drug lab. There are key signs that while alone may not be a cause of concern but together can be key indicators of a meth lab being in use. Remember a meth lab can be in a home, an apartment, or any building.
First address the person who appears to be the primary resident, how do they act? How do they dress? How do they behave? Here are some of the signs:
- Frequent Visitors – people coming and going, especially at all hours of the day and night can be an indicator that there is a meth lab in the home.
- Occupant’s actions – is the occupant unemployed but always seems to make large purchases or cash payments? Do they stay inside often event though they are frequently having visitors?
- Occupant’s behavior – Are they secretive? Unfriendly? When they are out and about do they appear paranoid? Are they dishonest when talking with you and neighbors?
A person who is operating a meth lab will want to keep the operation secret, therefore, all their actions coincide with this objective. The occupant’s behaviors and appearance are large indications of whether or not there is a meth lab in operation at a residence. Although, alone some of the signs above are not the sole indicators, combined they offer a strong case for a meth lab in operation.
Beyond the person’s appearance and actions the condition of the house, apartment, or building that the meth lab appears to be operating in will also offer signs to help you recognize it as a meth lab operation. A meth house may be run down, have odd fixtures, trash and other signs. Some key indicators include:
- Covered Windows – In an attempt to keep their actions secrets windows will be blacked out or covered to prevent people from seeing their actions.
- Odd/Excessive waste – the production of meth requires a lot of chemicals, products, and containers. Look for an excessive amount of two-liter bottles, torn open lithium batteries, rubber hoses connected by duct tape, empty pill bottles and coolers.
- Burn patches in the grass – the chemicals used in making meth will burn the grass and prevent patches from re-growing if methamphetamine waste is dumbed in the yard.
These indicators of meth labs aren’t the only things to look for other signs include drug paraphernalia, masks, coffee filters and pillow cases stained red, and white powdery residues. Any of these indicators could mean that this residence or building is home to a meth lab and steps should be taken to prevent interaction. Suspect a meth lab is in your neighborhood? Contact your local law enforcement and for your safety avoid any contact with the resident and the building!