One of the best ways to fight meth is to be aware of users, who can be recognized by their appearance and behavior. Meth addicts are extremely nervous, and they often have jerky body movements. Many have a skeletal appearance, with skin blotched by sores and a grayish ,leathery appearance. Other physical signs include body odor, rotting teeth and thinning hair.
Mentally, a meth user becomes delusional, paranoid and aggressive. Even family and friends can become the targets of an addict's imagined fears. For this reason, it's best to keep your distance when you see a radical behavior change that concerns you. Share your thoughts with a trusted person who might be able to get help for the suspected user. Remember, talking with someone doesn't make you a snitch; but it could make you a lifesaver.
You can also make a difference in the anti-meth fight by reporting signs that a meth lab might be in your neighborhood. It's a mistake to think they couldn't be in your own backyard. Meth can be made in motel rooms, apartments and even car trunks.
Signs of a meth lab:
- Unusual, strong odors similar to fingernail polish or cat urine
- Nighttime traffic at late hours
- Blacked-out or taped-over windows
- Renters who pay cash
- Excessive amounts of trash that may contain the following:
- Cold tablet containers
- Cans of camping fuel, industrial chemicals and cleaning products
- Jars, beakers and coffee filters with a white substance or dark red sludge
- Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached
- Numerous household batteries
If you suspect the presence of a meth lab:
- Stay far away. Meth labs are explosive and toxic. Sometimes they are booby-trapped with explosives, and paranoid meth users are often armed.
- Call your local police or the state's meth hotline at (877) TNN-METH [(877) 866-6384].