Right now, many people are living in homes or working at businesses that have residual meth contamination at the premises. For example, a family may be living in a home at which prior residents smoked meth while they occupied the property. The reality is that contamination can persist in a property not only where meth was manufactured but also at a place where meth was smoked. We all need to have a basic understanding of the potential dangers of unknowing exposure to meth contamination.
Situations in Which You Can Be Unknowingly or Unwillingly Exposed to Meth
There are a number of different situations in which you can unknowingly or unwillingly be exposed to meth. These include exposure in different types of locations:
- Newly purchased home
- Newly rented home
- Hotel or motel room
- Rental car
There is a trio of underlying reasons why you might be exposed to meth in one or another of these settings. These are:
- Site of a meth lab
- Site of a meth dealer
- Site of a meth user
How Meth Contamination Occurs
The manner in which meth contaminates a particular site depends on what that location was used for in connection to the illicit drug. Typically, the most dangerous situation develops as the result of a meth lab. With that said, a site that was used by a meth dealer or a meth user can also result in a serious and dangerous level of contamination.
Meth lab: The operation of a meth lab and the subsequent abandonment of the property can result in a tremendous hazard. In many instances, the dangers are so significant, a HAZMAT team must be brought into the property, followed up by intensive professional meth decontamination. The aftermath of a meth lab can result in not only contamination of the premises by methamphetamine itself but also by an array or other dangerous chemicals.
Meth dealer: If a meth dealer had occupied a property, meth contamination is likely to be present. The level of contamination is based on the volume of meth maintained at the premises coupled with the length of time the dealer used the property for dealing the drug. Odds are that meth will be smoked at the premises occupied by a methamphetamine dealer.
Meth user: Finally, if a meth user elects to smoke the drug, a considerable level of methamphetamine contamination can accumulate over time. Contamination occurs most often when a meth user smokes the drug. The extent of meth contamination depends upon factors that include:
- Volume of meth smoked in the premises
- Number of people who smoked meth on the premises
- Length of time meth was smoked in the property
Physical Dangers of Meth Exposure
If a location is significantly contaminated by meth, the net result can be the propensity for significant health issues. Children many times are at greatest risk for health issues arising from exposure to meth from a contaminated property.
The physical consequences associated with meth exposure include nausea, sleep disruption, hair loss, and weight loss. If a meth contaminated property is not decontaminated, the longer-term physical consequences of methamphetamine contamination include lower resistance to illness and disease. A person consistently exposed to meth contamination can ultimately end up with cognitive impairment.
Emotional and Psychological Dangers of Meth Exposure
The unknowing exposure to meth at a property can result in a person experiencing what can prove to be persistent emotional and psychological problems. A key emotional and psychological condition that can arise from exposure to meth contamination is anxiety. Another mental health condition fairly commonly associated with exposure to meth contamination is depression. In a good number of cases, a person exposed to a meth contaminated property on a persistent basis may end up laboring under both anxiety and depression.
A key point to understand is that an individual exposed to meth contamination may begin to experience anxiety, depression, or both in what amounts to a relatively short period of time. These conditions can become more severe the longer an individual is exposed to an un-remediated meth contaminated property.
Protecting Your Interests If Meth Contamination Is Suspected
There are some steps that you can take to protect your interests and those of your family if you feel a property may be contaminated by meth for one reason or another. There are certain steps you need to consider taking if you want to do the most to protect against possible exposure to meth contamination.
If you’re renting or buying a residence, you can request that meth testing and sampling be undertaken at the property before you enter into a sales or rental agreement. This type of testing and sampling can be done quickly and for a reasonable cost. While we all want to keep costs associated with any type of real estate transaction as low as possible, obtaining this type of testing does provide you with an invaluable peace of mind by knowing what the condition of the property is in regard to meth contamination.