COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The Branch County Substance Abuse Task Force is warning residents to be careful of picking up discarded pop bottles along the roadside. It might just be a meth lab. The ‘one pot’ method, according to a 2011 Michigan State Police report, now accounts for more than 75% of all meth labs. They normally use a 2 liter pop bottle as the container to create the ‘shake and bake’ drug from a handful of easily available household items. This method of drug production is even more dangerous than the makeshift, clandestine lab because it makes the volatile substance more mobile.
Branch County Undersheriff and Chairman of the Task Force Keith Eichler says now, meth cooks can carry all the ingredients they need in a back pack, adding that it can easily turn into a fireball if a bottle top is unscrewed too quickly. Several states have linked flash fires to this type of meth production and accidental exposure to discarded methamphetamine chemicals and equipment can cause serious health injuries including burns, collapsed lungs and nerve damage.
The public is cautioned that if they find discarded bottles containing unknown substances to leave them alone. Do not pick them up. Instead, they should contact their local law enforcement agency or call 911. For further information contact the Branch County Task Force at 279.5337 or visit their website at www.bhsj.org/satf.