Signs of a Meth Lab

Signs of Meth Lab in Your Neighborhood

If you suspect that you might live near a meth lab, look for several signs. If most or all of them are present, you can report this information to the Marion City Police Department or Marion County Sheriff’s Office so they can investigate and break up the dangerous drug lab.

Meth Ingredients

If the area frequently smells like strong cleaning products, you either live next to a cleaning lady or a meth lab. Meth labs often smell like ammonia.

Meth can be made with all sorts of common objects. Canisters of camp stove fuel, ammonia, a big pile of pseudoephedrine-loaded products (like sinus medication), and lithium batteries are just a few of these items.
There are a few other, weirder items that meth cooks use too. Coffee filters with red stains are good signs that a meth lab is in operation.

You should also look out for excessive trash. Meth labs go through massive amounts of plastic soda bottles, duct tape, coffee filters, sandwich baggies, etc.

Meth cooks have to sell their products to somebody. If lots of traffic comes and goes from the house, motel room, whatever – especially at night – that’s a good indication that there’s a person cooking up meth inside.

The users themselves will also have distinctive appearances. They’ll often be nervous and “twitchy.” Many have red sores all over their bodies. They’re usually very skinny, like to be awake at night, and can go for a few days straight without napping or sleeping.

If you suspect that your neighbors are running a meth lab, stay as far away as possible. Inhaling the fumes and other byproducts can make you sick. Also, the chemicals are not very stable. At certain stages of the cooking process, exposure to air or water can cause explosions.

The safest response is to call law enforcement and report the suspicious activities. You can even write down descriptions of people and vehicles (including license-plate numbers) that come and go from the lab so that the police will have someplace to start investigating.

Landlords and neighbors suspecting Meth lab activity should pay attention and look for the presence of the following items, which could indicate the existence of a meth lab:

  • Cold Packs, or residue/used cold pack wrappers in quantity
  • Ether
  • Benzene
  • Toluene/Paint Thinner
  • Freon
  • Acetone
  • Chloroform
  • Camp Stove Fuel/Coleman Fuel
  • Starting Fluid
  • Anhydrous Ammonia (commonly found in used propane tanks, with altered valves or tubes)
  • “Heet”
  • White Gasoline
  • Phenyl-2-Propane
  • Phenylacetone
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Iodine Crystals
  • Red Phosphorous
  • Black Iodine
  • Lye (Red Devil Lye)
  • Drano
  • Muriatic/Hydrochloric Acid
  • Battery Acid/Sulfuric Acid
  • Epsom Salts
  • Batteries/Lithium
  • Sodium Metal
  • Wooden Matches
  • Propane Cylinders
  • Hot Plates
  • Ephedrine (over-the-counter)
  • Cold Tablets
  • Energy Boosters
  • Rock Salt

If you suspect a Meth Lab may be present, or if you find the above listed “precursor” items at a residence, do NOT confront the lab residence/area.

You local law enforcement can be reached at:
Marion City Police Department 740-387-2525
Marion County Sheriff’s Office 740-382-8244
TIPS Line 740-375-8477 or 740-375-TIPS

For photos and other information please visit: http://www.kci.org/meth_info/sites/Riverside_County.htm