NRV community members talk meth, solutions to growing problem - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NRV community members talk meth, solutions to growing problem

Posted: Updated:
CHRISTIANSBURG, VA -

A Thursday meeting about the growing meth problem in the New River Valley seemed timely -- Wednesday, Christiansburg Police arrested two people accused of running a meth lab in their home.  Community members, business leaders, and law enforcement say it's something they don't want in their hometowns and they hope these types of meetings can help put a stop to it.

It's business John Tutle says he'd rather not be involved in, but work he and his team at Servpro are having to do more and more these days -- going into homes where meth labs have been discovered and cleaning them up.

"I don't want this to be in our community," said Tutle, Business Development Coordinator for Servpro.  "But it's really in this community."

It's why he now spends a lot of time giving community groups presentations about the signs of meth use and the dangers of meth labs.  Thursday, he spoke to the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce during their luncheon, recalling a time he went into one of the homes his crew was cleaning.

"When I opened that closet door, I knew something didn't smell right," said Tutle.  "And in no time, I was feeling dizzy.  This one had been ventilated for almost four months, yet here I am, I'm dizzy, and I'm turning beet red.  It was scary."

He says the meth problem is becoming scarier for people living in the NRV.  He and undercover officers from several local law enforcement agencies also at the meeting noted that meth addicts are now abandoning the traditional, large scale labs in homes in favor of what are called "shake and bake" labs -- where they mix the ingredients in small containers like soda bottles so they can hide them and transport them more easily.

"They're packing all that stuff up," said Tutle.  "They're putting it in other people's garbage, in dumpsters, and along the sides of roads."

Law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County say they're pooling their resources together to locate and eliminate meth labs in the community.  But they say there's only so much they can do on their own.

Tutle and the officers said the most important thing community members can do is keep an eye out for any red flags that may indicate a meth lab is nearby and to report it.  Those red flags include homes with windows that are covered by blankets or foil, chemical odors like cat urine or ammonia, and large amounts of trash -- especially split-open lithium batteries, a large number of match packs, stained coffee filters, and medications like Sudafed that contain Pseudoephedrine among other things.

The Chamber says it's important to raise awareness about the issue so the community is empowered to fight it.

"If you're aware of something, then you can do something about it or think differently about it," said Catherine Sutton, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.

Tutle is working with state leaders to think about the issue of meth labs differently.  This year, he helped get a bill passed that requires property owners to disclose if a meth lab was on their property.  He's currently working with lawmakers on legislation that sets state guidelines and requirements for the proper cleanup of a property when a meth lab is discovered there.

  • Accident causing lane closures on Interstate 81-North

    UPDATE: Interstate 81 lane reopens after Botetourt Crash

    UPDATE: Interstate 81 lane reopens after Botetourt Crash

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:42 GMT
    Two lanes are still closed but traffic is now passing on the right shoulder.
    Two lanes are still closed but traffic is now passing on the right shoulder.
  • UPDATE: Crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery Co.

    UPDATE: Crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery Co.

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:09:04 GMT
    All lanes on I-81 southbound are closed due to a tractor trailer crash near mile marker 120
    All lanes on I-81 southbound are closed due to a tractor trailer crash near mile marker 120
  • Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Floydfest attracts people from all walks of life

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:26:58 GMT
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."
    FloydFest 13 kicked off on Wednesday. Thousands of people from different walks of life will attend various events. Some come to the music festival to escape the monotony of everyday living."

Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.