Meth Affected Properties

Meth affected properties are heart breaking. Their impact on families, communities, and the local economy are huge! Let us help you get straight with the police, the state, the FBI, and The Department of Health. Meth cleanup and testing is hightly regulated. We are certified to handle this hazard. 

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Dangers of Living in a Former Meth House

A former meth house, is any house where meth was smoked in.  Meth doesn't have to be cooked, produced, or labeled as a meth lab to do serious damage to a property. Inviting one person who does meth into your home can be a costly mistake. Most meth users will not disclose their addiction or their intent to smoke it on your property. If they are renters then the damage they are doing to your property is more costly than what you will ever get from rent.  Most meth users will blow their smoke out the window or into your ventilation system. If they blow it into your ventilation system, expect to pay a licensed biohazard cleaner $10K to clean and remove all the meth residue, or pay more to have it all replaced. Most home owners insurances do not cover this costly expense. If you rerent a place that has meth and the new tenants get sick, you might also be sued for medical damages.

Methamphetamine is a crystal substance that when heated vaporizes, that’s how people ingest it. That vapor  goes off and into surfaces and as it cools, it recrystallizes. These trace amounts increase over time and in the case of homes that used to be meth labs, can leave incredibly unhealthy levels of the chemicals in the walls, ceilings, carpets – you name it. When meth is ‘cooked’ in a home these toxins spread everywhere. The remaining chemicals can harm those living in the home, as they are exposed to the residual meth daily.

Some families report constant sickness, inability to sleep, sinus problems that require surgery, babies unable to gain weight. Others have methamphetamine traces show up in their bloodwork without any history of using the substance. Migraines, respiratory difficulties, skin burns, irritation. The list goes on, and these are just the short term effects. The possible long-term health problems are less understood, but no less scary.

Coming down with these illnesses repeatedly, seemingly out of nowhere can seem like something out of a horror movie!  If you have experienced any of these symptoms after moving into a new home, it may very well be that your home’s history wasn’t properly disclosed to you. 

Signs of a Former Meth House

Whether you are looking at purchasing a new home or you’re renting out a property and wonder what might be going down – keep your eyes peeled for some of these common meth house signs.

Stay Alert for Strong Scents

While older homes might have a normal, musty smell, meth homes have a clear scent. Smell for ammonia, vinegar, or a rotten egg smell. These are definitive flags that something is up, if you haven’t bought the property yet now is the time to ask some serious questions.

Ask Your Neighbors

One of the couples we mentioned earlier had no idea until their neighbors clued them in. Talk to your neighbors, they have likely been in the neighborhood longer than yourself and may have seen things that the seller of the property didn’t see (or didn’t want to disclose). 

Test Your Home

If you have noticed any of these signs, or want to get right to the scientific truth of the matter, you can get a test. You can buy a methamphetamine test to test the levels in your home for relatively low costs (some on Amazon for as little as $10 at the time of this writing). Each state has a ‘safe’ limit so check against that number to determine whether your result is acceptable for you. And if that tests proves positive for even a minuscule amount, you are allowed to feel it is unacceptable. It’s your home, you don’t have to go by a recommended safe amount if you don’t feel safe! 

Got bad news? Did your house test positive for meth residue? It is time for a serious cleanup! if you suspect your home or home-to-be was a meth house,  get professional assistance and make sure your home is habitable! If you need the help, call American Restoration 24/7! Our team is prepared to handle the hard work necessary to rehabilitate properties just like yours. Giving your family peace of mind and a safe place to live again.

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Utah's Meth Problems

The number of methamphetamine-related fatal overdoses in Utah more than doubled in the past five years, as law enforcement has seen a stunning increase in large meth busts statewide.

Drug overdose deaths involving meth rose from a low of 31 in 2010 to 217 in 2018, according to records from the state Department of Health. That’s far more meth-related deaths than the previous high of 52 in 2006.

“We keep hearing that meth is coming back, but it didn’t leave,” said Meghan Balough, a state epidemiologist.

Instead, public attention to meth — which led to new laws and widespread public awareness campaigns in the early- and mid-2000s — shifted to the new, even deadlier opioid epidemic, said Brian Redd, chief of the State Bureau of Investigation for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

“About 2015, we started seeing these larger quantities of meth coming back, like we hadn’t seen since the late ′90s and early 2000s,” Redd said. “But the opioid epidemic was really surging at that point, and it really was overshadowing this growing meth issue.”

Today, “the Mexican transnational criminal organizations are just flooding our market with methamphetamine,” Redd said.

Prescription opioids have killed more Utahns than meth has each year. In 2007, there were 326 opioid-related overdose deaths, and 302 in 2014, according to state data based on death certificates. In many overdose deaths, multiple drugs are involved.

But opioid deaths have declined since then. In 2018, the state counted 274 prescription opioid fatalities, compared with the 217 meth fatalities, according to Balough’s preliminary figures.

Nonprescription heroin deaths are down, too, Balough said. In fact, Redd said, meth-related deaths surpassed street heroin deaths for the first time last year.

The rise in meth fatalities corresponds with a similar spike in meth seizures, Redd said. The Utah Highway Patrol’s Drug Interdiction Unit seized a total of 71 kilograms of meth in 2014, he said.

So far in 2019, the unit has seized more than 235 kilograms. “That’s the highest yet, without the year being done,” Redd said.

Market factors may explain meth’s rapid rise in Utah, Redd said. A pound of meth costs $1,000 to $1,500, with a single hit going for about $20, he said. That’s about a tenth of the cost in the early 2000s, he said.

“The price is so low on methamphetamine right now, some of these street or low-level dealers are able to afford larger quantities than they have in the past,” he said.

In some cases, meth dealers are making their way into markets where opioid use is declining, Redd said. In others, it’s replacing costlier drugs, like cocaine, which is now about 10 times as expensive as meth.

Or, Redd said, customers “are just looking for anything that can give them a high.”

When police ramped up drug enforcement around the downtown Salt Lake City homeless shelter as part of Operation Rio Grande in 2017, the “primary drugs of choice” were heroin and cocaine, as well as spice, Redd said.

“But over time, we’ve seen more meth in that area,” he said.

The state has seen a particular spike in deaths involving both heroin and meth — possibly, Balough said, as meth becomes a more popular stimulant antidote to heroin’s depressive effects.

“I know that a lot of people use heroin to relax, and then when they need to wake up, they use meth,” she said. “It’s not necessarily that they’re using them at the same time, but they’re using meth [to be] able to function.”

Meth use has been rising rapidly nationwide, but especially in the West, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Utah had the ninth-highest rate of deaths involving psychostimulants with the potential for abuse — chiefly meth, but also ecstasy and some drugs for attention deficit disorder. Nearly every other state in the top 10 also is a western state — Kentucky and West Virginia being the lone exceptions, according to data from 2017, the most recent year included in the CDC data.

“In the West, meth has never really gone away,” Redd said. “It’s always been there. It’s just that the opioid epidemic really overshadowed it.”

Eastern states, meanwhile, are experiencing explosive increases in fatalities involving synthetic opioids, like tramadol and fentanyl. While the influx of synthetic opioids has raised concerns in Utah — especially after the deaths of two 13-year-old Park City boys who overdosed in 2016 on a drug known as “Pink” — western states have seen nothing close to the multifold increases that have occurred in states back east.

But it may be the next drug epidemic on Utah’s horizon, said Balough. “It’s coming in from the south, it’s coming in from the east, and from the west,” she said. “You’d think at some point, it’ll come here.”

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