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Meth is toxic, dangerous to anyone around it

Staff Report • Jan 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Meth is a scourge that just won’t go away. Despite laws to discourage its production, people are arrested every day in this state and charged with manufacturing this vile and toxic drug. We say meth is toxic because that’s exactly what it is — toxic to the body, toxic to the mind and toxic to the environment.

As we reported in Monday’s paper, Carter County sheriff’s deputies discovered a large methamphetamine dump site Sunday afternoon while responding to a domestic violence call at a house at 121 Riverbottom Road.

Lt. Mike Little said garbage found near the house included cold medicine packs that provide the active ingredient in meth — pseudoephedrine. Deputies also found empty cans of Coleman lantern fuel and cold packs containing ammonium nitrate and other items.

The dump site is suspected to be the largest ever found in Carter County, and that’s saying something since Carter County is now ranked third in the state for the number of meth sites discovered. It was so large that it required double the number of lab technicians usually needed to clean up such a dangerous meth site.

Six people have been charged with meth production as a result of finding the toxic dump. One resident of the home will also be charged with aggravated child endangerment. Her 3-year-old daughter has been placed in the custody of other family members.

Little said young children are frequently found inside homes where meth is being manufactured. The making of this dreadful drug can cause respiratory and kidney problems for anyone, especially children, who inhale the toxic fumes.

“It is a health hazard and it is heartbreaking,” Little said.

It is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking to see what meth does to people — how the drug wrecks both their health and their families. It’s heartbreaking to see parents place their children and their neighbors in jeopardy to make this terrible drug.

In addition to the health hazards caused by inhaling the chemicals involved with making meth, exploding clandestine labs have been known to blow homes right off their foundations. That’s why homeowners have a right to know if a convicted meth offender is living next door.

Knowledge is power, and Tennessee’s meth registry is an effective tool for battling this drug problem. The meth offender registry lists a person’s name, date of birth and the crime he or she was convicted of, much like the state’s sex offender registry. To view the meth-offender registry, visit www.tennesseeanytime.org/methor/.

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