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Drug Use - Meth

Methamphetamine is one of the most pervasive and destructive drugs in the Denver-metro area. 


Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, goes by other names such as speed, crank, crystal meth, or glass. It is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that can quickly make addicts out of those who experiment with this highly-regulated and commonly abused drug.

How is Meth Made?

Unlike drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, which are derived from plants, meth can be manufactured using a variety of store bought chemicals. The most common ingredient is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. Through a cooking process the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is chemically changed into meth. 

The ingredients that are used in the process of making meth can include ether, paint thinner, Freon®, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid, and lithium (taken from batteries). 

The chemicals used to cook meth create highly explosive toxic fumes and pose long term hazards. They also may contaminate soil and groundwater for years.

Impact on Children

Many children are rescued from homes with meth labs or meth-using parents. Meth, chemicals, and syringes are all within reach of these children which can be physically harmful--even lethal. Parents high on meth neglect their children in their quest to feed their addiction, and the mental, physical, and emotional consequences for these children are often severe.  

Suspect a Meth Lab?

Meth labs can be set up almost anywhere--garages, motel rooms, homes, and even a car trunk. Here are some tell tale signs of a meth lab:

  • Large amount of cold tablet packages that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine around property or in trash.
  • Lithium batteries that have been stripped or taken apart.
  • Coffee filters with white, blue, orange, or other colored staining.
  • An unusually large number of chemical cans such as paint thinner, camping fuel, lye, paint thinner, acetone, or drain cleaners, or bottles containing Muriatic acid.
  • Strong smells such as urine or ammonia.
  • Windows blacked out in house so no one can see in.
  • Propane tanks with blue-colored brass fittings, or compressed gas cylinders/

Symptoms of a Meth User

  • Smell of chemicals.
  • Unkempt appearance, often extremely underweight, and may have poor hygiene.
  • Behaviors that indicate the person may be intoxicated.
  • High traffic in and out of residence, short stays, and at all hours.
  • Unusual paranoia or nervousness.  

Report Drugs in Your Neighborhood

Do you want to report drugs, drug use, or a possible meth lab in your neighborhood? You can call 720-898-6750 and offer a tip to investigators.





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