What is Methamphetamine?

What are the Symptoms of a Meth User?

How do I recognize a Methamphetamine lab?

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.
  • Open windows vented with fans during the winter.
  • Renters who pay their landlords in cash. (Most drug dealers trade exclusively 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, engine starting fluid cans, HEET cans, lithium batteries and empty battery packages, wrappers, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape.
  • Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home.

Additionally, many of the chemicals can be found in common household items such as lantern fuel, cleaners, acetone, muriatic acid, and diet pills.

Coffee Filter with residue from meth manufacture process.

There are many different methods for producing methamphetamine. Each method has its own inherent dangers. Many of the chemicals used are caustic or corrosive, and some of the processes create noxious and harmful fumes.






One step used in the production of meth

If you suspect a meth lab, leave at once and report it.

  • Do not open any coolers.
  • Do not touch any items.
  • Handling methamphetamine waste residue can burn your skin and eyes, and breathing in the gases can send you to the hospital.
  • Handling these chemicals with unprotected skin, or getting the dust in your eyes can cause serious damage.

To avoid the possibility of fire, explosion, death or serious illness, only trained and properly equipped workers can dismantle a lab and take the remnants away for disposal.

Presence of the following items could indicate the existence of a meth lab:

Toluene/Paint Thinner
Camp Stove Fuel/Coleman Fuel
Starting Fluid
Anhydrous Ammonia
White Gasoline
Iodine Crystals
Red Phosphorous
Black Iodine
Lye (Red Devil Lye)
Muriatic/Hydrochloric Acid
Battery Acid/Sulfuric Acid
Epsom Salts
Sodium Metal
Wooden Matches
Propane Cylinders
Diet Aids
Hot Plates
Ephedrine (over-the-counter)
Cold Tablets
Energy Boosters
Rock Salt


Weapons are very common in meth labs. People who use meth are very paranoid about everything. they are worried that they will be caught by law enforcement and will use any means to not get caught.


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Home Drug Testing Kits

If you suspect a meth lab in your neighborhood, call the
Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group Drug Task Force

(636) 797-6467



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Copyright 2003 Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Last modified: 01/28/16