People often forget that meth hurts not just individuals, but families, neighborhoods and entire communities. You might not be using meth or know anyone who is - but it doesn't mean it's not affecting you. Here are some ways that meth might find its way into your life:
Local law enforcement in Butte County estimates that 80% of crime is related to meth use. Want to fight crime? Then it makes sense to fight meth.
It’s highly addictive nature and ease of availability creates addicts at warp speed, and addicts will do anything to pay for more meth. In the event that you are confronted by a meth addict who is “tweaking,” the chances of violent, paranoid, and psychotic behavior are almost guaranteed. Burglaries, muggings, rape, assault, murder, and child abuse, as well as identity theft and embezzlement are all multiplying as fast as the meth addicts are.
Worried about the environment? You should be. For each pound of meth produced, five to seven pounds of hazardous waste are generated, posing immediate and long-term environmental health risks. The chemicals used to make meth are toxic, and the lab operators routinely dump waste into streams, rivers, fields, backyards and sewage systems, which can in turn contaminate water resources for humans and animals. Read on for how it can contaminate housing.
Your home may be your castle, but your rental may be a meth lab. And if it is, you are in for a shock on what it will cost you to get it cleaned up and ready to rent or sell. The poisonous vapors produced during ‘cooking’ meth permeate the walls and carpets of houses and buildings, making them uninhabitable. Assembly Bill 1078, called "Contaminated Property: Methamphetamine” was enacted to provide protection to those innocent buyers from purchasing contaminated properties and holding property owners accountable for clean-up. So beware, a meth lab can take down your investment in a heartbeat.
Child Abuse and Neglect
The biggest tragedy in the meth culture is what happens to children. Some of the most unspeakable crimes have been committed on children by adults high on meth, partly due to the psychotic nature of the drug. But more often we just see mom and dad get high for days on end… and when they come down, they sleep for days on end. For kids, that means days in the same diapers, days without food or water, days at risk of fatal accidents, predators, and disease. And, if Mom or Dad is cooking meth, children are exposed to the toxic elements and noxious fumes which cause brain and lung damage, skin and eye irritation, headaches, burns, nausea and dizziness. Finally, volatile ingredients used to cook meth are highly explosive, so each year we see children suffering in burn units who are the innocent by-products of the meth culture. Sadly, burn units all over the country are at risk of closing due to the overwhelming influx of meth lab casualties.
Foster Care System
40% - 50% of children in the Foster Care system are there due to Meth.
Our already crowded, overflowing, and under-funded system is reeling from the impact of meth. And here’s the other tragedy: 50% of child abuse happens in Foster homes. So when a child is removed from parents who have abused or neglected them, they have a 50/50 chance of being abused again. It has also become difficult to attract foster parents for these children because they often have multiple problems: insomnia, depression, lack of toilet training, and emotional problems that leave social workers desperate for help.