Signs Of A Meth Lab
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Signs Of A Meth Lab

Signs of a meth lab often include common household chemicals and products, including the now restricted ephedrine and pseudoephedrine containing medications. These ingredients are mixed and "cooked" to make this dangerous drug. The cooking process can also create potentially harmful chemical residues that can remain on household surfaces for months or years after "cooking" is over. There may be adverse health effects in people exposed to lab chemicals before, during and after the production process. This is why meth labs are considered hazardous and should only be handled by hazardous waste professionals.

Meth labs can be set up nearly anywhere, but are most commonly found in motel rooms, apartments, and rental properties. Other locations may include storage units, RVs, sheds, garages, vacant buildings, and campgrounds. The signs of a meth lab start the moment you enter the property. Take a deep breath. A cat urine smell is often associated with meth. Other odors to be aware of are ammonia, vanilla, solvents or metallic smells. These are warning signs of a meth lab.

Additional signs of a meth lab are strange items that have been taken apart and not reassembled correctly or at all. This is because meth users sometimes become obsessive about objects. They may dismantle things like remote controls, watches or electronic devices. The objects can sometimes be found in a pile dismantled down to the smallest part.

What are some other signs of a meth lab?

Large amounts of household products are a tip off. Common products are used to manufacture meth that can be found in an average home, except in a meth lab large quantities of common items may be in odd places. If you see multiple packages of lye, Heet, Coleman fuel, peroxide, pseudo-ephedrine or coffee filters in odd places, like stored in a bathroom, closet or kitchen, this is an indication that it may be wise to avoid this property and if you feel appropriate, notify your local law enforcement. Below are additional signs of a meth lab as well as some of the most common types of labs used to create this dangerous drug.



Box Labs

Areas where lab equipment is merely stored. These areas could include houses, sheds, boats, cars, or commercial storage sites.

Synthesis Labs

These are areas where controlled substances are actually produced.

Non-Cooking Operational Labs

Synthesis labs that are "cold" and not actively in the process of manufacturing controlled substances

Extraction Labs

Sometimes the manufacturing and storage processes are broken into segments or cells. Extraction labs are places where only a partial step in the manufacturing process is carried out.

Conversion Labs

Similar to the "Extraction lab," "conversion labs" may be where a partial step takes place. Conversion labs, however may also be where raw or unrefined drug precursors are chemically altered into a new chemical that is used on the street as the final product. Examples would be: Morphine to heroin; Cocaine HCL to Cocaine base and Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) to Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

Milling Labs

Milling labs are locations where powdered controlled substances are "milled" into tablets. The term also applies to labs where tablets are crushed or "milled" (rendered into powder).

Rolling Labs

Rolling Labs are any of the above labs set in a mobile vehicle such as a train, car, RV, van, truck of car, etc.

Tinkle Tweakers

Tinkle Tweakers are meth users who store their urine and faeces, and attempt to recover the un metabolized methamphetamine from those materials. We have performed activities in residences containing dozens upon dozens of 2 litre soft drink bottles filled with urine waiting to be processed. In such labs it would not be uncommon to find as much as 100 litres of stored urine.

Dirt Barons

Desperate as the Tinkle Tweaker may seem, other tweakers locate the illegal dump sites of other tweakers, and attempt to extract controlled substances from the dirt, and waste products dumped by previous manufacturers.

Signs Of A Meth Lab
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