The creation of illegal drugs by individuals is often a dangerous process, putting makers, users, and neighbors at risk. Clandestine drug labs have posed a threat to public safety for years, and the activity is still occurring in homes across the United States.
Making drugs at home is often used as a way to make some extra money, or to save money to support a drug habit, but the practice is risky. Methamphetamine and LSD are commonly made in home labs across the country and sold to users. Some drugs take expertise or hard-to-acquire ingredients to make, while others make use of common household substances or over-the-counter medications. Many ingredients can be found on the black market, and Internet sites dedicated to teaching the basics of manufacturing street drugs are fueling many new home drug labs.
Danger to the User
Street drugs are always dangerous because of the damage they cause to the body and mind. Homemade street drugs pose an even greater risk. Each time a drug is produced in a home drug lab, the manufacturer may use different ingredients and measurements. There is no regulation of these illegal drugs, and buyers often ingest drugs that have been tainted with harmful substances or that contain substitutions for more expensive ingredients. Overdoses are common because the user can't be sure about the strength of the drug.
Danger to the Community
Home-based drug labs pose a threat not only to the manufacturer and the user, but to the community as a whole. Reports of home meth labs blowing up are relatively common because of the volatile nature of the ingredients. Unstable chemicals that are being mixed can explode at any time, often destroying entire buildings. Toxic fumes are another hidden risk that the community around a homemade drug lab faces.
Authorities spend much time locating and shutting down clandestine drug labs, but because they are becoming so common and the ingredients are so easy to acquire, the task is a difficult one. Given the danger these labs pose for the maker, the user, and the community, law enforcement will continue their work of finding and prosecuting these labs. If you have any information or know of a clandestine drug lab in your area, call the authorities immediately.