Posts Tagged 'methamphetamine'

The Dangers of New Fad Drugs

We’ve recently shared with you some information related to the new fad drugs that are currently legal. With more kids ending up in the emergency room, there are more and more details surfacing about danger of these drugs.

In our recent article Rub-a-dub-dub, Drugs in my tub? We told you a little bit about the latest fad drug, bath salt, which has been banned in Europe and is now getting the attention of teens in America. Recent articles say that this drug is much worse than the other fad drug, fake marijuana, K2 or Spice.

According to Dr. J Ward Donovan, central Pennsylvania’s go-to doctor for emergency room physicians on poison questions, since November he has averaged a call a day about bath salt or “synthetic cocaine.” Donovan says that synthetic cocaine is really a synthetic amphetamine like product, meaning its chemical makeup is more similar to meth.

Unfortunately blogs and internet message boards talk about the legal substitute for cocaine becoming all the rage. Being high on fake cocaine has some similarity to the high from smoking synthetic marijuana. The difference, Donovan said, is this: A mild reaction to bath salt is comparable to a bad trip of K2.

Bath salts also come with side effects like delusion, confusion, violence, agitation, high blood pressure, sweating and fast heart rate. According to Donovan, there is one upswing. You can’t get addicted to it.

Rust Payne, spokesman for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency says, “We’re hearing a lot of reports. Poison centers, emergency rooms… The same trends among teens.”

Like synthetic marijuana, bath salts are being sold in head shops. The powdery white substance is priced by the gram and looks like cocaine.

Both synthetic marijuana and bath salts are extremely dangerous. Be smart. Just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it is harmless. There are a lot of unsafe substances out there. These new fad drugs are just two examples.

Tips for Parents from

Get Educated: Learn as much as you can.

Have the Talk: Let them know that you know.

Be Specific: Tell your kids what you see and how you feel about it.

Don’t Make Excuses: You’re not helping if you make excuses for why they miss school or family functions if you suspect drug use.

Remain Calm: Don’t get mad, or start accusing. Be firm, but loving.


How Concerned Are You About Purchasing or Renting a Former Meth Lab?

With the new season of “Breaking Bad” that started in March, there seems to be a lot of discussion regarding former methamphetamine labs that are set up in apartments and houses. The Drug Enforcement Agency has seized a number of these meth labs, and has listed the addresses of these houses on their  National Clandestine Laboratory Register. However, we have received a few inquiries from individuals that are concerned they may have purchased a former “kitchen”. If the DEA is seizing these facilities, why are they worried?

Unlike many other drugs, the production of methamphetamine is extremely toxic, and its byproducts linger, either as waste or residue on the property for a long time, depending on the types of chemicals used, their concentration, quantity and the length of time they were “cooking”. A homeowner or lessor may not understand the environmental impact or toxic effects of these labs, and may choose to remove all equipment and chemicals without notifying law enforcement, then just ventilate the residence and complete standard repairs such as carpet replacement and painting. Residues linger in air vents, HVAC systems, drywall and even concrete.

Here’s an interesting fact gathered from the The Partnership For Drug-Free America website – one (1) pound of methamphetamine produces 5 to 6 pounds of toxic waste, oftentimes poured down the drain or directly into the ground. If proper toxic cleanup does not occur, future residents may suffer from a wide array of symptoms, including a lingering cough and chest pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and decreased motor skills. The long-term effects may include cancer, organ damage and birth defects.

The fact is, meth production in the U.S. is small potatoes compared to the international super labs; however, “mom and pop” shops do exist, in all economic levels. Meth houses have been found in trailers, as well as expensive homes. So, are average home buyers really concerned? If so, what steps are you taking to avoid purchasing a former meth house? If not, why?

We appreciate your input and look forward to learning from you.

A Meth Lab In My Community? No Way!

For the past week my nose has been running, eyes burning and all the seasonal symptoms of spring allergies.  It is almost March in Texas, so this is to be expected.  Off I go to my local pharmacy to pick up Zirtec-D, which you must get from the pharmacy area.  The technician looked at me, reminded me there is a limit on how much I could purchase, then asked for my I.D., giving me another look-over.  “Miss Goody-Two-Shoes” was feeling a little dirty with the evil-eye look.

Why?  Well, the medicine I need to control my allergies is the same medicine used in meth labs – pseudoephedrine.  I then remembered a recent workshop I attended, hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Houston Division.  Our presenter told us that the Conroe area in Montgomery County has the highest number of methamphetamine labs in the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area.  Guess who just happens to live in this area?  Moi.  Now I was glad my technician was taking her job so seriously.

Methamphetamine is bad in more ways than one.  Addiction and behaviors associated to its use are not the extent – it affects children (from ingestion/inhalation to child and sexual abuse), our neighborhoods and safety.  I feel for apartment owners, landlords and mortgage companies that own residences where meth labs were located.  They are now faced with expensive toxic clean-up from the residue.

We want to share an eye-opening video with you, “Meth:  A Social Plague”.  You might be surprised that meth labs and users are not just in lower-class neighborhoods.  They hide in middle to upper-class areas because no one suspects.  Become informed and watch this video directed by Joel Smith.

Video Link:

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ExperTox® is a recognized forensic toxicology laboratory, combining advanced technology and science with a human heart.

We use our scientific expertise to provide our customers answers to their substance abuse, use and exposure questions.

We focus our personal character on supporting, caring for and understanding what our clients are going through as they contemplate and proceed through the testing process.

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