What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive, powerful stimulant. It produces wakefulness, hyperactivity and a euphoric effect.
Methamphetamine is also known as speed, P, crank, meth, crystal and ice.
What does methamphetamine look like?
In New Zealand, it is available in two main forms: a powder and a crystal 'rock'.
Crystal rock methamphetamine is the purest form of methamphetamine. This highly addictive form is becoming more popular. Because it is usually smoked it is absorbed rapidly into the body, resulting in more pronounced effects on the central nervous system.
Methamphetamine powder is snorted, injected or swallowed as a pill by users. It can come in a variety of shades of blue, green, brown and yellow.
Clandestine drug laboratories
Methamphetamine is manufactured in New Zealand in clandestine (secret) drug laboratories, known as 'clan labs', or imported in crystal form. There are risks in the process due to the poisonous, explosive, corrosive, toxic and extremely flammable chemicals used.
Exposure to chemicals found in clan labs can cause various symptoms including headaches, watery or burning eyes, nausea, burning skin, coughing or choking, diaphragm pain, feeling of coldness or weakness, shortness of breath or dizziness, decreased cognitive function, vertigo and convulsions.
If you find a 'clan lab', get out!
Strange smells, fumes and vapour escaping from windows or ventilators, sealed windows and premises being used for purposes other than normal, are some of the signs that indicate premises may be being used as a clan lab. If you suspect you have found a clan lab get away from the area immediately.
- Never taste, touch or smell any chemicals or equipment.
- Do not attempt to stop a chemical reaction.
- Do not turn any electrical device on or off, such as lights or a fan. This could cause an explosion.
- Do not shut off the water supply to the house or the chemical reaction.
- Do not smoke in or near a clandestine laboratory.
- Do not use tools, radios, cell-phones, torches or devices that produce sparks or friction.
- Call the Police.
- Do not go back inside.
Signs from outside a property
Chemical odours, coming from the building, rubbish or detached buildings. The overriding odours will be those of solvents such as paint thinners and nail polish remover.
- Exhaust fans running for long period and at odd times.
- Frequent visitors to the address at odd hours.
- Windows blackened out or curtains always drawn.
- People coming outside only to smoke.
- Occupants unfriendly, appearing secretive about their activities, exhibiting paranoid or odd behaviour. Expensive security and surveillance gear set up around the property.
- Access denied to landlords, neighbours and other visitors.
- Rent paid in cash
- Rubbish containing a large amount of cold & flu packaging, chemical type containers, bottles and boxes with labels removed.
Signs when inside a property
- Laboratory glassware, equipment and documents.
- Containers with clear liquids in them with a chalky coloured solid on the bottom or similar.
- Containers with two layered liquids in them, usually one dark coloured layer and one clear or pale yellow layer.
- Used coffee filters containing either a white pasty or reddish brown substance.
- Baking dishes or similar containing white crystalline powder or substance.
- The presence of hot plates near chemicals.
- Chemical odours coming out of rooms.
- Yellowish brown staining on the walls or ceiling.
Exposure to chemicals used to make methamphetamine in Clandestine Drug Laboratories can result in:
- Watery or burning eyes.
- Burning skin.
- Pain in diaphragm
- Coughing or Choking
- Feeling of coldness or weakness.
- Shortness of breath / dizziness.
- Decrease in cognitive function, vertigo and convulsions.
Seek medical advice immediately if you experience any adverse effects linked to hazardous substance exposure.