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Rise of homegrown meth labs across U.S. victimizing small children

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 24th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Methamphetamine, or meth - sometimes known under the street names of "crank" or "Tina" is a deadly drug manufactured with common household items and usually illicitly enjoyed by the nation's poor, rural whites. Shortcuts in producing the drug, using highly toxic chemicals has gone on to injure countless small children and babies, usually left unsupervised by "spun out" parents.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most commonly, children inadvertently drink poisonous or flammable material left in drinking cups during the manufacture of the drug. Children are rushed to emergency rooms with burned mouths, throats and intestines in horrific circumstances brought upon by their parent's substance abuse.

Adding to this national crisis is the fact that meth addicts are now able to manufacture the drug in their homes and cars in an extremely volatile method called "shake and bake." The production of methamphetamine traditionally took place in scattered, desert laboratories. With "shake and bake" production, a 2-liter plastic soda bottle with ingredients available at local hardware and drugstores is all that's needed.
[media id="90"] The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates at least 30 percent of domestic meth busts occur where children live or visit. Local law enforcement agencies say that number can be as high as 90 percent.

The mostly, silent untold misery may worsen as the popularity of homegrown meth labs continues its destructive streak.

A report earlier this year by the Government Accountability Office showed the number of "clandestine" meth incidents more than doubled in 2010 to some 15,000, after an all-time low of about 7,000.
[media id="91"] According to DEA statistics, more than 11,000 were reported in 2012.

The record-setting drop in 2007 had been hailed as a major victory in the war against drugs. Credited to increased federal and state restrictions on over-the-counter sales of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, meth production began to drop.

"Meth cookers" have found a way to get around new restrictions on buying pseudoephedrine found in cold and sinus remedies such as Sudafed. They simply send out buyers en masse to buy boxes of the medicine in a practice known as "smurfing." They then use the "shake and bake" method, also known as "one-pot," to make meth themselves.
[media id="92"] The highly dangerous process, which is prone to explosions, has transformed illegal meth production in recent years.

Meth can now be made anywhere in a matter of minutes by mixing psuedoephedrine, caustic chemicals such as drain cleaner and other household items including lithium batteries and cold packs.

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