Meth Affects Essay

964 words - 4 pages

Sometimes people forget that methamphetamine hurts not only individuals, but families, neighborhoods and entire communities as well. You might not be using methamphetamine or know anyone who is - but that doesn't mean it's not having an effect on you. A methamphetamine lab can operate unnoticed in a neighborhood for years, causing serious health hazards to everyone around. The problems with meth are widespread. Children and the general public may be affected by the fumes from meth labs operating in or near their homes. The prison system is overwhelmed by the needs of incarcerated meth users. Hospital emergency departments (ED) report that meth is a significant drug problem. The cost of ...view middle of the document...

In 2003, the production of meth in a nursing home in Ohio resulted in a fire that killed one person and injured 6 others. Although the numbers of known labs are large, they are under reported and more labs exist than the labs that are seized.

The poisonous vapors produced during cooking can permeate the halls and carpets of houses and buildings, often making them uninhabitable. Although most labs contaminate property, only a few states require disclosure, assessment, or clean up. Since lab assessments often only look for meth, the byproducts of a fire or explosion and other contaminants are not always assessed. Cleaning up the sites requires specialized training and costs an average of $2,000-$4,000 per site in funds that come out of the already-strained budgets of state police, local police, or property owners.

According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the manufacture of one pound of meth creates five to seven pounds of toxic waste. When the toxic waste is dumped, protected lands and groundwater are contaminated. This contamination places domestic and wild animals and humans at risk for sickness and death.

Hundreds of children are neglected every year after living with parents who are methamphetamine "cooks." In many states, nearly 50% of children in Child Protective Services used to reside in meth labs. Children who reside in or near methamphetamine labs are at a great risk of being harmed in such a toxic environment, due to the fumes which can cause brain damage and the explosive elements that go into making the drug. A child living inside a meth lab could potentially overdose from methamphetamine left out by parents, suffer from attachment disorders or behavioral problems, be malnourished, physically or sexually abused and/or burned or fatally injured from a fire or explosion. Over 30% of child abuse and family violence cases involve meth abuse.

Methamphetamine production is a...

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