All of us have a list of worries when looking to move into a new home but if it hasn't occurred to you before, you should have possible meth contamination on your list. If you are considering moving into a location that's in or neighboring a drug abuse area or a foreclosed property, count environmental testing for street drugs as first on your list.
A 2002 survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that more than 12 million people age 12 or older (5.3 percent) had used methamphetamine at least of one time in their lives. In 2003, 32 percent of state and local law enforcement agencies nationally named methamphetamine as the number two contributor--behind cocaine (50 percent)--to violent crime in their jurisdictions.
Methamphetamine is made in improvised illegal laboratories using ingredients oftentimes bought in local stores. Over-the-counter cold medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine and other materials can be "cooked" to make the drug. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), methamphetamine production and trafficking have changed in the past 10 years. In 2001, according to the National Clandestine Laboratory Database, there were 8,290 methamphetamine lab seizures. From 1999 to 2004, the number of seizures in total actually declined, but seizures dramatically increased in midwestern states.