Why You Should be Afraid of Methamphetamines

Why You Should be Afraid of Methamphetamines

There are many reasons why you should be afraid of methamphetamines even if you don’t directly use them.  There are health hazards from using methamphetamines and meth labs are hazardous to the community you live in.

Methamphatemine labs have been and still are a problem in states all over the U.S.A.  As fast as the labs are seized and shut down more get started.  The supply for this dangerous drug is real and you should be aware that is not a drug that you will just find being made in the inner cities.  The best places are in rural areas due to the smell and easier to hide from authority.

In this post the goal is to help you understand what methamphetamine’s are and how it can affect you, your family and community.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that has many street names but you will often hear it referred to as “meth.”  Meth is cooked in meth labs that are set up in houses bought, rented or abandoned.  It  can be in the form of a pill, crystal, powder, chunk like rocks, or  capsules.  Users of Meth either shoot it up with a needle, smoke it, or snort it.  In some cases its eaten.

Other Names for Meth

  1. Crystal
  2. Crank
  3. Speed
  4. Ice
  5. Tweak
  6. Uppers
  7. Chalk
  8. Christina

When Meth is mixed with other drugs like ecstasy or cocaine you may hear it referred to as: party and play, hugs and kisses, or twisters.

Chemicals and Equipment Used for Meth Labs

Why You Should be Afraid of Methamphetamines
Meth ingredient lithium

Yes believe it or not lithium is used as an ingredient to cook meth. This list should help you see why and how dangerous Methamphetamines are to the mind, body and spirit of a person using it and to the environment.  Many of the products used are explosive by themselves yet as you can see they will be combined.  This is why you should be afraid to have one of these labs in your community. This is why you should be afraid to use or have a friend or loved one use this drug.

Other chemicals and equipment used in this process are:

  1. Asthma medications
  2. Over the counter cold medications
  3. Drain cleaner
  4. Acetone
  5. Hydrogen peroxide
  6.  Iodine
  7. Rubber tubbing
  8. Kitty Litter
  9. Pyrex glass containers
  10. Camp stoves or hot plates
  11. Stove fuel
  12. Red phosphorous
  13. and Sulfuric Acid



How to tell that a Meth Lab is in Your Community

methamphetamine lab

Methamphetamine labs produce a lot of product operating around the clock.  There is usually more trash than what you would find coming from a family living in a home.  The combination of chemicals results in a strong odor. If you smell a strong chemical odor  in your community regardless of what you think it may be contact your local Department of Public Health. Especially if this odor is new to you and you don’t have any industrial plants nearby.  There may also be signs of alterations to the structure of the house or building due to the exhaust system installed by the dealers.  Another sign would be windows that have been covered up with plastic.  Just like any other drug dealer location you will probably notice high traffic at all times of the day and night. 

Methamphetamines Use and Exposure Health Risk

methamphetamine health risk

Methamphetamine users have a tendency to scratch.  The chemicals that are not in the body result in rashes all over the body.  Also the users have tactile hallucinations believing that bugs are crawling on them and constantly pick his/her skin to address the issue.

Symptoms Caused by Methamphetamine Use 

  1. Hallucinations
  2. Irritability
  3. Insomnia
  4. Paranoia
  5. Kidney and lung disorders
  6. Blood clots
  7. Depression
  8. Malnutrition 
  9. Aggressive and violent behavior

This list is not all inclusive the damage from use can be fatal.  Short term exposure to a meth lab can cause similar symptoms and fatality from inhalation of the chemicals and the body absorbing the chemicals from the air. Those who work in the meth labs manufacturing the drug wear safety suits for protection that cover the whole body.  

What to do if you Suspect a Lab is in Your Community
Plain and simple contact your local law enforcement office immediately.  You can save lives and your community by not hesitating in this matter.  Don’t stop and think someone else will do it.  If a meth lab explodes on your block it could be your house that goes up with it.  It could be you and your family that suffer skin and lung damage from breathing the fumes that have been released in the air.  
If you have concerns contact your local police or local civic leaders for guidance. Comment below if you have any questions and check out the resources listed below.
**If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful Comment below and Share on your favorite social media site.**
Lydia Brown
credit images: Flickr
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Free and confidential information in English and Spanish for individuals and family members facing substance abuse and mental health issues. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Lydia Brown, MS, MAC, CSAC, CADAC Editor ATN, Home Business Owner Advocate for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment CARF Surveyor

26 thoughts on “Why You Should be Afraid of Methamphetamines

  • October 10, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I see a lot of interesting articles here.

  • September 30, 2016 at 2:29 am

    I now definitely know why, when we let a homeless young man stay in our home, my stock of batteries disappeared, things with tubes were dismantled, and various chemicals appeared which I’d not bought. He had a camp stove too! He was diagnosed as schizophrenic and was supposedly an ex drug user. I thought he wasn’t managing his condition properly but all the symptoms you describe indicate that it must have been the meth. In the end my partner told him to leave because he was concerned for my safety. I admit to being relieved, even though I felt sad for him.

    • October 2, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Sue, you hit the nail on the head. That is the behavior of meth users. The dismantling of things is part of the tweaking symptoms. Thank you for your comment.

  • September 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Lydia,

    I was wondering what exactly meth was. I watch a TV Show called “Breaking Bad” and the characters make meth. I always wondered what the heck it was. You have explained it well and I thank you. I was meaning to Google it but here it is all in one package.

    A few years back there was a house that had rentals next door to me. The bottom rental had black plastic bags covering the window. I just thought they were getting around to put window dressings on but then a van used to roll up like clockwork…and the guy living there was all jittery. Before I could put two and two together, the police raided them thank goodness.

    I have a better understanding of it all now thanks to you!

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Why Create An eBook | Advice From Ryan BiddulphMy Profile

    • September 23, 2016 at 6:06 am

      Hi Donna, Breaking Bad was one of my favorite shows. That’s one of the ways I stay informed about the slang name for drugs by watching these types of shows. So glad that lab was busted in your neighborhood. Very dangerous to be near. Glad you found this information helpful. Thank you for your comment

  • September 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Methamphetamine has left a trail of bodies all over the US, Mexico, and Canada for the last 15 years. They overdose, they kill each other and they die slowly of starvation and dehydration. Meth destroys the kidneys, livers, and heart muscles of addicts, and causes severe spikes in blood pressure that frequently lead to deadly strokes.

    I can see people here have never seen any devoted tweakers. Why are they called that? Gee…lemme see….. The drug causes them to itch. They pick at their skin with their nails until they’re peeling off chunks of flesh. They can’t feel it because that is just how damaged their brains are. If you look at photos of addicts – even mug shots – you’ll see bloody wounds and scars covering their bodies.

    If you think zombie movies are scary, walk into a house full of meth addicts.

    Meth makes many addicts extremely violent. Killings and assaults are the norm for these folks. It’s only a small part of the ugly, though.

    • September 15, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Andy thank you for your comment. You are right there are many who have not been a witnessed to the devastation this drug has caused. The first time I met a long term user of meth it blew me away. Having worked with addicts over 20 years this young lady was in the worst condition I had ever seen.

    • September 10, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      Hello Rachel, glad you liked this article. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  • September 9, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Great information Lydia! I’m going to pass this around my Property Management groups! Such a shame we have things like this in our world… Great post!

    • September 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Angel, thank you for your comment and visit. Glad you found this post interesting and worthy to be shared with your network. Very grateful!

  • September 8, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Oh My Lydia..
    What an eye opening post , downright scary and sad. What’s the treatment for addicts? What can possibly be happening in a person’t life to go down this path. You just never know .. and this is one horrible path. Incredible facts and I’m more knowledeable now, thank you.

    • September 9, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Hi Lesly, thanks for your comment and question. Right now the treatments that have been effective for meth addiction have been cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management interventions that offer incentives for participation treatment. Other program therapeutic interventions that have been found to work are one on one counseling, group therapy, 12 Step fellowship meetings, client, and family education.
      The disease of addiction crosses all paths of life, however, the emotional reasons I have heard clients state for using drugs are very similar.

  • September 8, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Umbelievable. I read this before. Meth users battle depression and use it for a lift, Ean while they are killing themselves.
    I wish we could get more mandatory drug programs to put them in before they end up in jail. What mess.

    • September 13, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Unfortunately, without some strong interventions in place, the court system still sends addicts to jail. Lack of understanding about the disease of addiction is a problem. The stigma is very strong.

  • September 7, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Lidia,
    OMG, this is freaking me out, I will never understand why people are going this way when there is so much more in life.
    So sad. Thank you for sharing!

    • September 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Emi, Thanks for your comment. This is the disease of addiction! Yes it is a sad situation and a real issue in our communities. What is even scarier is the denial many of our community leaders and residents have until it hits real close to home.

  • September 7, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Very interesting read. Drugs seem to be seeping into all corners of communities these days. You bring up some great points in this post.



  • September 7, 2016 at 1:57 am

    Wow alot I didn’t know about this drug and I’m in healthcare.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • September 7, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I know what you mean Alicia I have been in the field for over 20 years and there is always so much to learn. A new drug, or a new way to use the drug, and new combinations that are now being used. It never ends.

  • September 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Just plain scary. I’ve gone from living on a small island to living on a mountain in the woods, both areas low key and quiet, though I have no doubt drugs are around because as you point out they are everywhere these days. This is a problem that is easy to fall into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ category so thank you for the important reminder.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Setting Boundaries: How to Make Yourself HeardMy Profile

    • September 6, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Marquita, yes it is very scary. At one point these meth labs were always in rural areas now they can be your next door neighbor in a busy community. Thank you for your visit.

  • September 6, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Hello Lydia! You did an amazing job getting the word out here, If these people who use knew the kind of ingredients that are in this stuff I wonder if they would still be users.. Yikes Drain Cleaner? Among the rest…

    Great Share
    Thank You!
    Chery :))

    • September 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Hey Chery, Drain cleaner kind of stopped me in my tracks as if the rest was not as bad or worst. The disease of addiction is real and the knowledge of the ingredients won’t make a difference once addicted. The desire to change and a strong recovery network after treatment is the key.


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