CHEMICAL CLANDESTINE LABS
Environmental Hazards caused by chemical reactions release toxic gases, causing chemicals and fumes to permeate every area of a clan lab and discarded chemicals are absorbed by the surrounding soil.
Physical injury and death are precursors and can include very explosive chemicals. A recent bust found enough ether to level six city blocks.
Reactions may produce hydrogen cyanide, which will quickly kill anyone in the vicinity. There is an antidote if obtained in time, or hydrogen sulfide. Here, there is no antidote-.you are dead.
Clandestine 'cookers' often use "pour and run" tactics which can result in deadly explosions and fires that could injure or kill lab operators, associates and innocent bystanders, neighbors and children.
Violence between drug dealers adds to the overall threat to any neighbourhood or community. Arsenals of illegal arms are often found in clan labs.
The exposure of children to any drug activity can constitute child abuse.
This is particularly true when the toxic environment of a clan lab is involved. Children are at risk from explosions, fire, air contamination and chemical burns. Children are often neglected or physically abused by drug-using care-givers.
The size of the lab can vary from a small 'tweaker' lab to a high production lab. Methamphetamine, GHB and Ecstacy can be produced anywhere.
In houses, storage facilities, campers, hotels, vehicles, trailers, vacant buildings and even remote sites.
Meth Lab Indicators:
Numerous cold medications and diet pill containers that list ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as ingredients.
Jars or glass cookware containing clear liquid with white colored solid on the bottom, or jars labeled as containing iodine or dark shiny metallic purple crystals.
Jars labelled as containing red phosphorous or fine dark red or purple powder. Coffee filters containing a white pasty substance, dark red sludge or small amounts of shiny white crystals.
Bottles labeled as containing sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid, propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue.
An unusually large number of cans of Coleman fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starting fluid, Gillette Lye and drain cleaners.
Strong smell of urine, or unusual chemical smells like ether, ammonia or acetone. (The cooking process produces a stench described as a mix between battery acid and rotten eggs).
The Date Rape Drug - GHB: GHB is easily produced in Clan labs or even in the the trunk of a car. They require no scientific skills. It is usually a mixture of GBL (readily available industrial solvent floor cleaner and drain cleaner).
Packaging of GHB can be found in white powder form, but is generally dissolved in water, which is clear and odorless, with viscosity of light mineral oil.
GHB is taken orally and both powder and liquids are salty or soapy tasting.
Consuming it with alcohol intensifies the CNS depressant effects and is therefore very dangerous. It can be used to facilitate sexual assault.
Slang terms for this drug are Liquid Ecstasy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Goop, Easy Lay, Liquid X, Saltwater, Scoop.
Reactions are amnesia, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, hypertension, lack of coordination and impaired judgement. High doses can lead to coma, respiratory depression, slowed heart rate and seizure-like activity.
The effects can last one to two hours, but can last up to six hours.
Ecstacy (MDMA) is a synthetic, amphetamine-like designer drug with 60 per cent stimulant and 40 per cent hallucinogenic properties and is possibly the most sought after drug in Canada.
Ecstacy come in capsules, tablets and in a variety of colors, scoring logos and often mixed with a variety of other drugs. Pure E is a white powder, but dangerous impurities vary the color yellow, beige, light brown or reddish in color.
E is taken orally, snorted, rarely injected and can be used as a suppository, called 'hooping'. A dose ranges from 50 to 120 mg. 'E' is the slang, also Love drug, X, Adam, Clarity, E-bombs.
This drug creates feeling of well-being, energy and confidence. It intensifies senses of touch, taste and enhances interpersonal feelings.
Tolerance to the drug develops rapidly. The use of Ecstacy leads to an increase in activity, which results in exhaustion and dehydration, increased heart rate, dry mouth and teeth grinding. Extended use leads to a 'crash' resulting in depression. Severe toxicities include paranoia, anxiety, panic, hyerthermia, breakdown of skeletal muscle, kidney failure and death.
The effects last from two to five hours.
Methamphetamine (Meth) is a potent and extremely dangerous central nervous system stimulant produced in clandestine labs. It is so addictive that some people can be hooked after just one use.
Meth is becoming a very popular 'designer drug' due to its highly addictive nature, the ease of production and the potentially high profits.
It is most commonly produced by an ephedrine/pseudoephedrine reduction method using 'over the counter' cold remedies and hardware store chemicals.
Meth can appear as an off-white crystalline powder, brown granules, clear, transparent crystals or tablets. Typically, in the powder form, meth is sold in plastic baggies.
Meth can be smoked, injected, snorted or administered orally.
The slang for Meth is 'crystal', 'speed', 'glass', 'ice', 'shards', 'jib', 'crank', 'peanut butter', 'chicken'.
The reactions closely resemble those associated with cocaine use, but lasting much longer. Meth acts on the cerebral cortex of the brain which accounts for the increased motor activity, initial rush, high euphoria, anxiety, depression, mental confusion, aggressiveness and poor judgement.
The effects last from 8 to 12 hours.
User Profile: a Meth-induced 'high' boosts self-confidence. The users are often overcome by a 'superman syndrome'. They ignore their physical limitations in this state and attempt activities they are normally incapable of performing. Meth is high addictive. Continuous use is the only way to avoid unpleasant and inevitable crash that come when the drug begins to wear off.
Meth addiction has three stages:
Low intensity (beginner)
High intensity (speed freaks)
Binge and high-intensity abusers smoke or inject meth to achieve a faster and stronger high.
The rush lasts 5 to 30 minutes. The user's hearbeat races and metabolism, blood pressure and pulse soar. Feeling of pleasure.
The high lasts 4 to 16 hours. The meth user often feels aggressively smarter and becomes argumentative.
The binge lasts 3 to 15 days. The user maintains the high for as long as possible and becomes hyperactive, both mentally and physically.
Tweaking. The most dangerous stage. A 'tweaker' is a methamphetamine user who probably has not slept in 3 to 15 days and is irritable and paranoid.
What can you do about drugs? Get involved. Work together in a community partnership to fight substance abuse in the schools, workplace and the community.
Become informed about drugs, alcohol and their effects and be a creditable source of information.
Make your position on drugs and alcohol abuse clear to your children. Have frank, open discussions with them. Parents need to discuss with each other the handling of the issue of drug and alcohol abuse.
Be aware that the behavior you expect from your children may be different from what your children say is expected of their peers.
Avoid unproductive accusations, as these often result in denial and isolation.
Upon discovering evidence of drug or alcohol abuse, such as paraphernalia, discuss this with your child, restate your original position and make it clear the consequences you are prepared to enact.
Help your children find ways to have fun without drugs through outdoor activities, sports, music, dance and/or creative projects.
Show your children how to deal with day to day problems like frustration, stress, disappointment, boredom in a positive drug-free way.
Be a positive role model for your children. Live your life the way you expect and want your children to live theirs.