Hazardous wasteproducts from speed labs and illicit drug manufacture, such as cocaine production are extremely toxic. A call for more addict help should go out to governments, on behalf of the world environment.
The public is made very aware of the toxic ingredients that make up the final content of illicitly manufactured street drugs such as crack, speed, GBH and crystal meth.
Drug cartels manufacture vast quantities of drugs such as cocaine. They have neither capacity nor intention to contain the toxic waste they produce; temporary speed labs, in apartments, back yard sheds, in cars and in parks simply leave the toxic waste where it lies, ready to be approached by animals, young children and anyone unaware of the contamination.
When authorities need to go in and clean up the sites of illicit drug labs – protective clothing is issued and used. In commercial laboratories, strict procedures and policies apply to ensure the proper and safe disposal of hazardous waste, the unwanted byproduct of the chemical processes involved in making many of our pharmaceutical drugs.
Given the vast quantities of drugs, both prescription and illicit in the world today – it makes for a considerable addition to what already appears to be an unbearable toxic load. Addicts preparing meth risks inhalation of toxic fumes – it isn’t only for drug use that people need addict help.
Since at least 1995 articles have been written concerning the dumping of toxic waste, the chemicals used to process cocaine from coca leaves in the Andean Mountains regions. The rivers are said to run red with more than 20 million liters of toxic waste dumped in the Columbian jungles, and more in Bolivia, and Peru.
Speed labs creating methamphetamine create between 5-6 pounds of toxic waste for every pound of meth produced. There are many speed labs in both US and Canada, started and closed down on a casual basis – police seizures and clean ups of thousands of speed labs a year, don’t even scrape the top of an ice berg.
All of these chemicals, which include acids, solvents and chemicals that can ignite or explode on contact with other chemicals are not going away – the annual load on the environment is incremental. Not only are we killing ourselves with toxic drugs – we are being poisoned by the toxic waste from illicit drug production.
Toxic waste cleanups can cost between $100,000 to $150,000 with prosecutions rare, and compensation paid to the State for clean ups even rarer.
It has also been reported in many areas where marijuana growers put their crops out in national parks and forest areas, that the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides by the illicit cannabis growers sometimes defoliates local vegetation at a rate of ten acres of damage to one acre of cannabis crop, according to forestry sources, with wild life often poisoned.
The shock horror ads that reveal pictures such as dirty urinals as a potential source of illicit street drugs might attract a greater audience and evoke more concern if pictures were shown of the environmental toxic waste from cocaine and meth production flowing down our rivers.
No longer can drug addicts say that they are only harming themselves – all drug users share the burden of responsibility for poisoning the environment, our water supplies and the flora and fauna.
Drug addiction and it’s toxic waste is a hazard to the world environment. On that basis alone, holistic methods of detox that are 100% drug free, and that lead to permanent recovery from addiction should be prioritized in every country and given 100% support.