Crystal methamphetamine use is associated with numerous serious physical problems. The drug is a stimulant similar to cocaine, but much more addictive and dangerous. It can cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to the brain cells. Regular use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Overdoses can cause hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), convulsions, and death.

Individuals who use crystal methamphetamine also may have episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. The drug can produce psychotic symptoms that last for months or years after an individual has stopped using the drug.

“Meth labs” are a neighborhood hazard: often booby-trapped and contain ingredients that explode and burn easily. Many people may be unaware that they’re living near a meth lab.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Unusual, strong odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).
  • Residences with windows blacked out.
  • Renters who pay their landlords in cash.
  • Lots of traffic – people coming and going at unusual times. There may be little traffic during the day, but at night the activity increases dramatically.
  • Excessive trash including large amounts of items such as: antifreeze containers, lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape.
  • Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home.

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