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Home>Topics>>Meth Labs, Meth Lab Response, and Meth Users: Part 2

Meth Labs, Meth Lab Response, and Meth Users: Part 2

Mon, 18 Oct 2010|

This free one-hour video program from the Firefighters Support Foundation familiarizes public safety personnel about: how to recognize a lab if you are approaching one or are in one and more.



The most important thing to keep in mind right now. This is the current trend and methamphetamine lapses this. Lab seizures are increasing and almost every state in the United States. The ingredients -- readily available. Recipes or on the Internet -- shared by methamphetamine -- and methamphetamine use is on the rise. Now let's talk a little bit about what methamphetamine. Is. And the effects that it has -- on a human being both physically. And psychologically. A good definition of methamphetamine is this is that it is -- synthetic stimulant drug which induces a strong feeling of euphoria. And this highly psychologically. And physically addictive. Pure methamphetamine. Is a colorless crystalline solid. And is sold on the street as ice collapse -- crystal. It is also sold as a less pure crystalline powder called crank. Speed. And comes in somewhat of a rock formation. Like crack cocaine it can also be called tweak dope or -- It's important as the first responder to know this terminology. In case you're dealing with someone in your job as a firefighter. -- as a paramedic. As they're trying to explain to you why their house is on fire -- wife -- playing on the ground having a seizure. Being able to identify them as a user and a drug that they're using makes you safer. The following photographs. Should -- methamphetamine. In both forms or just discussed. But we asked ourselves why methamphetamine. Well it's easy to make. It's easy to get the necessary ingredients. And there can be a huge profit Morgan. And then you've also got to consider extreme addiction. And what I say easy to make. You need to consider. That many of the people that are manufacturing methamphetamine. Are not the people that you would have found in -- high school chemistry class in fact you might not -- found him in high school at all but most of us. Being myself that you -- audience if we want to the store -- -- Duncan Hines cake mix which it probably come home and with some success bake a cake. Without understanding any of the chemistry behind the ingredients. And that's what a lot of these methamphetamine manufacturers do. They get a recipe either off of the Internet or most likely from another -- -- but they don't understand the chemistry behind what they're doing. Which again creates a danger to you the first responder. They might take all of their ingredients. Place them into a chest pour into a box. And not even realized that acids and bases don't mix. And what I mean when I say that acids and bases don't mix is that if they were -- together. They could create an X so -- reaction mean they're creating their own heat. And if they're creating their own heat in the same box -- flammable solvents or well then you see what the problem -- The following photographs of -- boxed up methamphetamine lab clearly shows. This described danger you can clearly see. -- bases and flammable solvents. All stored haphazardly. Within the same container. This is a real photograph. Of a real methamphetamine lab that was part -- we're crunching. Now to discuss methamphetamine facts and pharmacology. Which is important to you the first responder to know. What type of of responsible. World things that you may encounter when dealing with somebody that's using methamphetamine. Methamphetamine as a central nervous stimulant. It's like cocaine but it -- much stronger. It can be injected smoked snorted or taken orally. Remember that any drug that's injected within the human body also presents its own set of hazards. When dealing with the needles and other refuse left over from its use. Methamphetamine increases the heart rate. The blood pressure body temperature breathing right. And to some degree a person's a -- or at least that's what the user likes to believe. It will dilate the pupils produce euphoria. And an increased sense of energy and tremors. High doses or chronic use have been associated with increased nervousness. Irritability. And paranoia it. Now let me ask you the first responder. Is that who you really wanna deal with almost three somebody that's nervous irritable and paranoid. I jokingly say that but if you think about as a fireman or a paramedic. You wear -- uniform and often times a -- You can be very easily mistaken. By the -- user for a law enforcement officer. Which may put your life in danger based on who they think you war. And withdrawal from high doses produce -- severe depression. Short term effects methamphetamine calls -- sleeplessness. Increased weight -- us and physical activity with a decreased appetite. Which is why you'll find many meth users to be excessively under way. Immediately after injecting -- smoking methamphetamine. And intense -- follows. That is extremely pleasurable but last only a few minutes. Snorting meth -- produces a high within three to five minutes. While oral a suggestion produces a high within fifteen to twenty minutes oral ingestion of boarding produces. A long lasting high instead of an immediate rush. And this high can continue for as long as twelve to fifteen an hour depending on the amount of methamphetamine consumed. The Russian high or caused by the release a very high levels of the neuro transmitter to -- me. To areas of the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure. One of the common uses for methamphetamine. Is the increase in sex drive that is experience. As a result war amounts of pornography. Are generally located at residential where methamphetamine users and coach Russ -- Long term methamphetamine use. May have many damaging effects including addiction addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking. And drug used to those accompanied by functional. And molecular changes in the brain. In addition to being addicted to methamphetamine chronic users exhibit symptoms that include violent behavior. Anxiety. Confusion. And insomnia. They also display a number of psychotic features including paranoia. Auditory and visual hallucinations. Mood disturbances. And delusions. The paranoia can result in homicidal and suicidal thoughts. Tolerance can develop. And a result in the users using more methamphetamine. In an attempt to obtain the initial feelings. Of euphoria. In some cases users -- food and sleep while using methamphetamine. The users and gold in what is called a -- or a binge. -- they will inject up to a -- of methamphetamine. Every three to four hours. For several days of the time this behavior calls an extreme increase in violent and psychotic behavior. In these cases there is also an increase in the visual and auditory hallucinations. As described earlier. As a result of the repeated abuse it has been determined as much as 50% of the -- mean producing cells. In the brain or damaged. It has also been determined that the nerve cells containing serotonin or damaged even more special -- The physical effects of methamphetamine use source follows. Weight loss. -- -- sweating. Body odor -- bad -- or to. Open source known as the speed bumps. And the -- books. The following photographs. Show what is referred to as meth mouth or the bad -- or to just described by -- as well as the opens a war. Or what are known amongst the meth users as speed bumps. Here I stand with another excellent example of meth -- If you as the first responder will receive this coming at you it might be a person that's addicted to methamphetamine. Little the other physical effects that I mentioned woes audio -- I'm not talking about normal every day. Human smells associated with refuse what it. And a person is around all the chemicals put the -- cooks and users all around and they're putting those chemicals into the bodies. Often times that is the older that they will be giving all so the meth user and -- cook may have a solvent he. Chemical type odor to them which may be an indicator of methamphetamine used to you the first responder. So what does all of this mean to you the first responder. Well first and foremost approach with caution. As I've said before you're dealing -- somebody that is nervous irritable and paranoid. And potentially violent. To. Do not shine bright lights at them while now this may seem like a -- statement to make remember the pupils are violated. There already agitated. And they might believe that the bright light is some type of violent action words that -- or in their right mind. Restrained when necessary. And talk slowly without a lot of fast excessive hand movements. As I stated earlier you the EM -- of the firefighter or any uniform. You could be mistaken for a law enforcement officer. And they might believe in -- paranoid delusional state. That you were there to arrest them. -- render aid to them after they've been in something as simple as a car accident creating yet another danger for you. Just to quickly discuss biological or disease hazards. Of clandestine laboratories. Of those would include hepatitis. AB and C. Call oral. HIV aids. Herpes. TB. And he -- Celia. As I stated earlier there's a lot of inner -- -- use of the drug methamphetamine. Dirty needles -- -- typical hazard associated with any clandestine. Methamphetamine laboratory. My greatest advice is to never put your hands in a place. Your -- have not been in other words book before you reach or touch. Clandestine methamphetamine laboratories can be found in a number of locations. Quote we're gonna talk about mobile clandestine laboratories for clandestine laboratories that are in vehicle's. -- labs. -- moved at least once and likely many times while they're being operated. Patrol units. Fire departments and EMS workers. Have the greatest opportunity to observe to travel over clandestine laboratory. And can -- interfere with those movement. Many mobile clandestine laboratories. Or the vehicle's share common traits. They're frequently older undistinguished ordinary -- vehicle's. Rear and side windows may be mirrored -- and -- or cover. Interior may have evidence of chemical stains and -- corrosion. Occupants -- -- do not have a -- -- When I say that the interior may have evidence of chemical -- or Peru oceans. That's open -- -- and EMS worker world responding -- you may want to look at. If you see iodine -- Solvent -- -- war. Various chemicals leaking from the trunk of the -- This may be an indicator that it was a mobile methamphetamine lab before it was a vehicle accident. Windows may be open during rain or even on cold days to eliminate chemical voters to the occupants. Vehicle may be pulling -- you hall or rental trailer. Original paint on trailer may be covered with new or different paint. Mud they indicate on the tires -- -- -- quarter panel's. Can't figure inside the -- -- Vehicle contents covered up with -- or blankets so that law enforcement fire -- -- -- cannot see under them. Lose or spent ammunition may be seen on the war and firearms Libyan plane or full view. -- veteran. Know those commercial cold medicine or caffeine tablets may be visible. Operators usually do not own the vehicle's. Registration may be fake or altered. Vehicle registration may be out of date or from the wrong state. And the -- may -- to the wrong vehicle or altered. Now we'll discuss occupant little. Cook behaviors inside that vehicle when either in an accident or pulled over by law enforcement. Observe body language nervous anxious. Hurry up to get this -- -- this accident over what type behavior excessive sweating. Which is a physical symptom of the use of methamphetamine. An attempt to divert the attention of the first responder they may be too cooperative. To root. Driver exits quickly and approaches -- -- be heckled. Providing information pertaining to other drug activity without ever being asked a question about drug activity. -- speech pattern. The use of street -- or drug terms when talking to a first responder. And then the physical condition of the driver he may have chemical burns and -- injuries to -- persons or clothing. Chemical loader but the first responder makes no include -- -- -- -- marijuana. Organic solvents. A cat urine -- smell. Or heavy ammonia smell. The -- will be coming from either the occupant the occupants clothing the -- -- -- the contents of of the vehicle that may also have an overabundance of electronic equipment. To include scanners walkie talkies cell phones citizens' band radios and -- -- detectors. -- They do listen to your radio traffic. There are several things that the first responder world look at and look for. When when they believe they may have a clandestine laboratory or an -- clandestine laboratory on our hands. The vehicle contents might also include laboratory apparatus and equipment. Excessive amounts of extension cords. Hydrogen chloride gas generators as discussed and shown earlier. Lighting set -- exhaust fans. Assorted size boxes. -- Clear or -- glass bottles. Cardboard or -- -- Five gallon metal cans for instance of Coleman fuel but they have no other camping gear. Labels removed or covered -- in containers that they do you have. Compressed gas cylinders of various sizes. LP gas containers which may contain other gases -- which they are more for. Ice chests with block. Party ice or even dry ice. Bottles of cutting agents such as and asked them. Used to dilute the methamphetamine. To increase the profit to vote methamphetamine -- And common solvents that includes starting -- spew hatred alcohol and Coleman fuel. But there are other things you'll look for outside of standard chemical -- lab apparatus. I always go back to attention to detail but drug production recipes and notes. Handwritten or typed. Diagrams or schematic of -- chemistry lab set up that don't really match the person in the vehicle's. Handwritten or typed list of chemicals to be purchased. List of glassware and other chemical equipment that the person seems to wanna -- -- Chemistry books and articles on chemistry that again don't fit the person driving the vehicle's. Other documents may include receipts or rental of apartments and homes. Storage lockers safe deposit boxes and other vehicle's. Business court for a lab supply houses real estate companies and equipment rentals. Receipts for purchase of chemicals pseudo ephedrine an -- Many of these -- Keep this documentation. For months after they've made the purchase. And finally other documentation that you might find inside one of these mobile clandestine laboratories. Or maps or written directions too remote or urban areas. Business letterhead for fictitious companies. Chemical or lab supply catalogs. -- worst and telephone numbers. And photos of laboratories. People vehicle's. And even of themselves cooking methamphetamine. First responders on the scene of a vehicle accident. That appears to be a clandestine laboratory. Should wear the appropriate safety gear. Firefighters. Should only approach the accident wearing SE BA. And may be utilized to assist paramedics. In moving casualties. From the site of the accident for treatment. If law enforcement is not already present at the scene. Firefighters -- paramedic should take the time to contact. Local law enforcement and bring them to the scene and make note of their observations. Now we'll talk about residences. The most common location for a clandestine laboratory is at a residence. Any room can contain a clandestine laboratories including a -- a bathroom. -- a basement. Be on the look out for concealed or hidden rooms or compartments within a house. Things to look for these residences. May be high fences around the residence. Windows covered with black plastic. Exhaust millions in the windows running continuously. Work turned around backwards. Temporary power lines to an out building. Visible electric cords in unusual places. Attack dogs and the world and excessive amount of watch talks. Of course the same role always -- about attention to detail an accumulation of chemical cans or other containers. That don't fit the neighborhood -- the residence. -- award amounts of trash inside and outside the residence. Outside surveillance cameras. Or on windows and the -- Lights on all night long. Frequent traffic usually late at night. Residence. Of the residence. Taking frequent breaks outside the house to smoke -- to get fresh air. Waste water draining outside. Modifications to the house -- -- particular or peculiar room. Areas of dead or discolored grafts -- chemicals may have been distorted over a period of time. Wanted septic systems. And chemical odors. -- -- discussed confined space laboratories for a moment. These require very special consideration. And a very special skills to process. But the confined spaces defined. As any space that has limited or restricted means of entry or exit. Is large enough for person to -- her to perform tasks and is not designed or configured for continuous occupancy. This could be a basement with only one way and -- one way out an addict with only one way and -- one way out or even a tunnel buried out behind. A clandestine laboratory residents were chemicals were -- -- or cooked. Clandestine laboratories can also be found in motels and hotels. Typically -- -- found in in your cheaper extended stay motels. Occupants who often declined room service because they don't want vote the help to discover that they've got a meth lab and contact law enforcement. Occupants will spend a majority of their time inside the room but they may go outside to smoke. The following photos -- -- clandestine laboratory. Found at a hotel. It clandestine laboratories may also be found -- motor homes and -- They may be parked in remote areas. Lights are all on all night long. Electric generators running outside all night long. Look -- are frequently posted. And chemical voters may be present. Outside these motor homes and campers. You may find excessive trash which will accumulate. And again attention to detail that may include chemical bottles glass where chemical waste and boxes. Lab operators may perform -- of the sent missiles outside of the motor home. Because they do in -- lead in the motor home at night. Storage facilities. This is a common denominator. Of urban clandestine laboratory operators. Of people cooking methamphetamine. In a very. Well established urban -- -- urban environment where they don't wanna be found by other neighbors. Concealment. They may use they may use these storage facilities. As concealment or storage between -- Chemical voters may come from what in that storage facility. They may visit very early or very late to avoid management. -- visits are usually very brief. Often they enter the locker and they closed the door behind them. And look -- -- often used while loading or unloading from that storage facility. The following photographs or make clandestine laboratory don't site. This is where a clandestine. Methamphetamine. Cook. May take all. Up his waste product. From an actual cook -- remote location. And just don't put out. This can be done in wooded areas a river. A public dumpster. Or parking law. If you encounter a clandestine laboratory dump -- Back away. Two to a safe distance of several hundred metres down wind. Down gradient. Secure the scene from a distance and contact more important. One thing to keep in mind -- clandestine laboratory operators. Is that these individuals. Or involved in the manufacturing. Or processing of illegal drugs. Most operators or vaguely aware of any type of safe speed hazards associated with what they're doing. Most operators -- with little or no understanding of chemistry. Most operators use hand me down recipes to manufacture the methamphetamine. Clandestine laboratory operators are amongst the most dangerous of all criminals. Many invest substantial amounts of money and time in their operations. And therefore take drastic measures to protect their investment from other criminals. And won't work. Many will booby trapped their laboratories to prevent -- -- usually. Most importantly. We must remember. That if they're -- if they are using their own product. They can be nervous irritable. And paranoid. In addition to that there are usually all.

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