Officials teach community how to detect meth activity - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials teach community how to detect meth activity

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Meth is not just a dangerous drug for addicts -- it can hurt people who do not even touch it. Meth can be explosive and deadly when being produced, which is why the McMahan Fire Rescue is teaching the community more about the drug and how it is made.

Meth is a nasty drug, and it does awful things to those who are addicted to it. "They take chunks of flesh off with their hands or with a pair of pliers or whatever is handy," Lt. Rich Pearson said in front of a training class. He says a meth addict often feels like bugs are crawling under their skin, and will go to great lengths to make the feeling go away. Pearson says another side affect of meth leaves an addict's mouth in disrepair. "The result is this black nasty crusty thing called meth mouth," said Pearson.

Pearson, commander of LMPD's meth team, is teaching the community what to look for, but he says the drug does not just affect the people addicted to it.

In September, residents at Churchill Park apartments in Hikes Point heard an explosion before eight units went up in flames.

No one was injured, but it is believed a meth lab caused the damage. "This activity could be happening right under your nose and not realize it," said Chief Pat Walsh, of McMahan Fire Rescue.

The training class was launched to teach residents and apartment staff about detecting meth activity. "As we spoke with different apartment communities and hotels," Walsh explained, "we learned they don't know what to look for, and we want to educate them on that."

"We came because basically we don't know what meth is," John Duerr, a Louisville resident explained. "We wouldn't know what to look for if someone was making it next door or down the street and we just wanted to be a little more educated."

When you hear the phrase meth lab you may picture an extravagant science lab, but in fact, almost all meth labs are contained inside a plastic soda bottle.

"I really really want you all to see what they look like," said Pearson to the class. He showed pictures of the soda bottle meth labs, which will often have a white sludgy material in the bottom after meth has been made.

Lieutenant Pearson hopes that by showing what to look for, dangerous explosions and fires can be prevented. "And I think if we see a one-liter bottle with a lot of white substance in it the bottom of it, I think we're going to be very suspicious whereas before it would've just been a piece of trash," Duerr said.

"If you have any suspicions, then you know, we ask that you call," said Walsh.

There are two more training sessions on Tuesday November 27th at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at McMahan Fire Protection District, 4318 Taylorsville Road.

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