Meth Aware



The manufacture and use of methamphetamine has increased greatly in recent years, not only in our community, but across the nation. Clandestine methamphetamine labs pose dangers to everyone in the area. These labs are highly explosive. The chemicals used to make methamphetamine are toxic, hazardous to breathe and corrosive. The ease with wihich methamphetamine can be manufactured is a major contributing factor to the increase in its use. Today, the drug can me manufactured almost anywhere. Homes, apartments, mobile homes, cars, vans, and hotel rooms are all popular places to make the drug.

The North Little Rock Police Department is helping to lead the way in fighting the illegal use and manufacture of methamphetamine. The METH AWARE program is a community awareness program aimed at educating citizens of the signs and dangers of methamphetamine and its production. By educating everyone, we can all make a difference in our neighborhoods by fighting this epidemic

Neighborhoods must become more involved in working with Law Enforcement to keep a look out for any suspicious activity. Being educated and informed about the dangers of methamphetamine, as well as being alert to the signs of its use and manufacture, is the first step in making a difference and protecting your neighborhood as well as our community.

What is methamphetamine?  
Methamphetamine is a schedule II narcotic and a central nervous system stimulant. It is a synthetic drug with an extremely high rate of abuse and addiction, with little medical value. It can be smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested orally. Street names for methamphetamine include meth, speed, crank, crystal, or ice. Methamphetamine affects the part of the brain that controls the central nervous system. It is highly addictive and long term use can cause convulsions, stroke, brain hemorrhage, heart attack, and sudden death. It is estimated that 85% of people who try meth will become addicted. Methamphetamine is lethal, dangerous, and unpredictable. The majority of users start in their teenage years.
What are the dangers of methamphetamine?  
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug. Once a user becomes hooked, the easiest way to get the drug is to manufacture it. The chemicals used to manufacture meth are explosive, flammable, and corrosive. These chemicals also produce toxic gases. When abusers begin to manufacture meth, the results can be disastrous. Not only can the people involved be injured or killed, but also the police officers, fire fighters, and other emergency workers that respond. These first responders, as well as unsuspecting neighbors, are all put at risk from this hazardous process. During a meth "cook", chemicals and fumes are absorbed into carpet, walls, curtains, and the clothing of any person present in the residence while the cook is occurring. These are toxic chemicals and exposure can have serious health effects, the long term effects having yet to be fully understood.
How does methamphetamine affect the environment?  
Methamphetamine cooks often dispose of leftover chemicals by pouring them down drains or directly on the ground. These toxic by-products can remain in the soil for years. Each pound of methamphetamine produced leaves FIVE to SIX pounds of toxic waste behind. The cleanup of meth labs and this waste must be done by specially trained personnel. The average clean up cost is between $3,500 and $5000 per lab, with some costing as much as $150,000, PAID FOR BY YOU WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS.
How will a meth lab affect my neighborhood?  
  • It will bring criminals, drug addicts, and violence to your neighborhood.
  • It will compromise the safety of everyone who lives in your neighborhood.
  • The homes surrounding a meth lab will be subject to an extreme fire hazard. METH LABS CAN AND DO EXPLODE VIOLENTLY.
  • Late night activity and noise will increase.
  • It will create a bad and unsafe environment for your children.
  • It will greatly lower your property values.

What should I look for?  
  • Residents who don't appear to have a regular job but always seem to have cash.
  • Visitors frequent the residence at all times of the day and night.
  • Excessive activity late at night when most people are sleeping.
  • Residents who keep to themselves and do not welcome intrusion.
  • Residents who become paranoid with anything out of the ordinary.
  • Residents who display NO TRESPASSING or PRIVATE PROPERTY signs as well as video surveillance cameras. Cameras can be hidden anywhere such as in gable vents over a garage or birdhouses near the front door.
  • Windows that are always closed and covered completely from the inside. This could be with curtains or some other material that will completely conceal the view inside.
  • Chemical odors coming from the residence.
  • Residents who rarely set out their garbage.
  • Garbage that contains items such as the chemicals shown in photos on this page. (Signs of the use of one or two of these chemicals is not proof of a meth lab, but the combination of several of these items may be cause for concern. 

TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT DRUGS. Don't just talk about not using them but explain what happens when young people experiment with drugs and alcohol. Explain to them how to handle peer pressure and the stress it involves and give them the knowledge and confidence to make good choices. The best way to stop methamphetamine use is to prevent it from ever starting. Talk to your kids now, don't wait until there is a problem! Below are links to websites to assist you in educating your children about the dangers of drugs.

For additional information on drug awareness programs or to have a narcotics investigator speak at your school or group meeting, contact the North Little Rock Police Department at 758-5432.