Battling those that produce one particular drug is exhausting law enforcement efforts in East Texas. Five years ago, Texas authorities closed the doors to 20 meth labs, compared to at least 350 last year.
And just this week, eight more people were arrested for cooking the drug inside a North Tyler building. With the drug rampant, and the chemicals used to make it deadly, law enforcement is hoping to step up their efforts.
"It used to be you'd find some crack or marijuana," says Constable Creath. "Now its methamphetamine."
Constable Creath is now advising citizens to look out for people with excessive amounts of meth-making products, like liquid drainer, aquarium salt, acetone, muriatic acid, lithium batteries, camp fuel and pseudofed. Residue on containers and garden sprayers are other potential signs of meth use.
"If the public's made aware of (what is commonly used), I think it's going to make a big difference in them being able to call local law enforcement," Creath says.
Meth users have been known to cook the drug inside their homes, cars, even their boats.
In most of the cases, anhydrous ammonia tanks are a factor.
"That anhydrous ammonia has a really strong smell like your typical kitchen ammonia," says Creath. A tank with a bluish nozzle is likely to be part of a lab, he says.
These days methamphetamine, itself, is more of a community concern considering the dangers it imposes on the general public. The anhydrous ammonia and hydrochloric gases used in the manufacturing process can cause severe explosions, burns, eye damage, even death.