In any large or midsize community, bank-owned properties that sit vacant for what can be a more extended period of time are rather commonplace. Unfortunately, vacant bank-owned properties are not necessarily monitored with sufficient regularity. As a result, a bank-owned residential or commercial property can become a site where inappropriate activity occurs. This can include activity associated with the illicit drug trade, including methamphetamine and fentanyl manufacture. 

Methamphetamine and fentanyl are two of the most dangerous types of drugs causing addiction and death in communities in Southern California and across the United States. Both of these drugs are being made in illegal labs. In the case of both meth and fentanyl, these illicit labs result in significant contamination of the location where these operations were undertaken. The contamination by meth or fentanyl can pose serious health risks to people who enter these premises. Indeed, meth or fentanyl contamination arising from the operation of manufacturing labs can present potentially deadly threats to people who enter into contaminated property. 

Understanding Meth

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and powerful stimulate that acts on the central nervous system. Meth takes the form of a white crystalline powder that dissolves readily in water or alcohol. 

Most of the media and public’s attention has been paid on illegally manufactured, sold, and used meth. With that said, methamphetamine is manufactured legally and is classified as a Schedule II stimulant. It is prescribed for limited purposes through a nonrefillable prescription. 

Understanding Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid. Fentanyl legally is used as a pain medication, particularly for patients in latter stages of cancer. 

Fentanyl can be illegally manufactured with some ease. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has become a major problem in different locations in the United States. 

Because fentanyl is so powerful – between 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine – fentanyl overdoses easily occur, including fatal overdoses. Not only is fentanyl used alone (with a cutting agent), the drug is also mixed with cocaine and heroin in some instances.

Why Illegal Meth and Fentanyl Makers Gravitate to Bank-Owned Properties

Illegal math and fentanyl makers gravitate to bank-owned properties for a number of reasons. Chief among these reasons is the fact that a meth or fentanyl maker can gain access to a vacant bank-owned property fairly easily. Such an individual can get into the property, set up a makeshift lab, and go to work in no time at all.

In addition, a vacant bank-owned property is easily abandoned by a meth or fentanyl maker. In other words, when a meth or fentanyl manufacturing endeavor is completed, the property can be abandoned with ease. In addition, if a meth or fentanyl maker believes that he or she is at risk of being caught, that individual can depart the property in a beat.

Aftermath of Meth and Fentanyl Making

When a meth or fentanyl making process takes place in a vacant bank-owned property, the aftermath can be highly dangerous. First of all, there will be meth or fentanyl contaminating the premises. This typically occurs because meth or fentanyl “dust” can become airborne during the manufacturing process. This process results in meth or fentanyl contaminating surfaces in the property.

In addition, these drugs involve the use of hazardous substances in their manufacture. This particularly is the case with meth-making. Residues of these substances can be left behind after the manufacturing of one or another of these drugs takes place in vacant bank-owned property. The net effect can be a pervasive contamination of surfaces and objects in a vacant bank-owned property. When someone comes into contact with these surfaces or objects at a later time, the risk of significant health consequences is highly possible.  

It’s Not Just Drug Making: Contamination From Meth and Fentanyl Use

There are meth and fentanyl users that gravitate to vacant properties like bank-owned properties. In other words, not only do vacant bank-owned properties provide staging areas for the manufacturing of these drugs, but they provide spaces in which addicts can use meth or fentanyl. 

The possibility exists that meth or fentanyl use in a vacant bank-owned property can result in contamination of the premises. For example, if meth is smoked or if fentanyl is blended with heroin or cocaine, the space in which these activities occurred can become contaminated. The contamination becomes more severe as the use of these drugs carries on for a more extended period of time.

Unless contamination by one or another of these drugs (or both of them) is identified, and unless professional meth decontamination or fentanyl decontamination occurs, when bank-owned property becomes occupied, people can be exposed to these drugs. This exposure can result in health problems, including very significant conditions. Indeed, there have been cases when people have been exposed to meth or fentanyl residue contaminating a property and have died from that exposure. This particularly is the case when it comes to fentanyl exposure in this manner. 

If bank-owned property sits vacant for even a relatively short period of time, taking the step to test for meth or fentanyl contamination may be in order. If meth or fentanyl contamination is discovered, professional meth decontamination or fentanyl decontamination is the recommended course.