Experts say meth problem in Maine appears to be growing

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Danforth couple being charged with the sale of methamphetamines this past weekend once again shed light on the issue of meth in Maine. It's a drug that state officials say can carry a lot of danger to produce.

The Maine Center for Disease Control assisted in investigating 13 meth labs across Maine in 2013. So far officials there say this year they've been looking into at least two labs each month.

Chemistry experts say it doesn't take much to manufacture meth. All a person needs is a small container and simple ingredients that you can find at most stores.

Health officials say the danger comes when those chemicals are cooked together. 'Cooked' lithium can give off ammonia gas and other irritants that can damage a person's lungs. Experts also say cooking meth can cause explosions that can easily start a fire.

"They {scientists} have tested where they've taken one pots {containers}...that's what the term is called...and poked a hole in them and you can see a flame shoot out the side of that vessel," said Chris Montagna, whose team at the Maine CDC assists law enforcement in assessing illegal meth labs, "so it's almost as if a flame thrower has gone off. So it {cooking meth}won't ignite the air around you...but anything that's combustible in the area will definitely go up in flames."

Experts say in the last year meth labs have been discovered mostly in rural parts of the state although some were found in more populated areas like Waterville and Lewiston. Officials say if you have real suspicions about a location near you contact the police immediately.


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