Meth Labs

IT’S worse than bathtub gin.

That homemade concoction of grain alcohol and flavorings was popular in the 1920s during the Prohibition era.

Although those who imbibed bathtub gin might die or go blind, a greater danger is apparent from the growing problem of home-brewed methamphetamine because the innocent may be injured or killed without using meth.

Trash collections and social workers as well as those involved in civic projects such as highway cleanup might encounter remnants of a meth lab and explosions can result.

This dangerous drug is highly inflammable.

Making meth once was a production, sometimes involving brewing for hours or days.

The Columbus Dispatch recently pointed out, however, by 2009, the “one-pot” method emerged, and now that is what is normally used for its manufacture.

Sports-drink bottles or 32-ounce pop bottles are popular to make small batches of meth in 45 minutes, and this is termed as “shake-and-bake” by law enforcement officials.

Although meth use is on the increase, meth lab busts are increasing, and some have occurred in Eastern Ohio during recent years.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation reports slightly more than 600 meth lab busts occurred from October 2011 to October 2012, but 575 have taken place since then through May.

EFFORTS are under way to counteract problems resulting from these labs.

In the war against meth, Ohio is one of 25 states to mandate a national database to track sales of key ingredients for meth such as cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

Legislation also has been introduced requiring certain steps to ensure properties where meth labs were located are safe and free of toxins before anyone can live there.

Training is increasing to help people to identify remnants of meth labs and the action to take.

The Ohio Department of Transportation website, for example, points out: “Instances of methamphetamine abuse in Ohio are on the increase with devastating effects. All ODOT workers who venture in the field should be knowledgeable about the dangers of meth labs, how to recognize them and what to do if you find one.”

This website points out details about recognizing a meth lab. Its pictures of users – before and after – should be enough to discourage any potential user.