Meth hurts not only the person making, using or selling it. It hurts the entire community.
There are hidden costs associated with meth. Hospitals are often forced to cover very expensive treatments for meth lab explosion burn victims. In fact, more than one-third of all burn victims admitted to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Burn Unit receive treatment as a result of meth lab explosions and burns, with a total annual cost of more than $1.6 billion.
The buildings where meth labs are seized can be quarantined for months by law enforcement officials until deemed livable by cleanup officials. Workers on meth often miss work, driving down productivity.
It is expensive and time-consuming to certify a law enforcement officer to safely seize a meth lab. The health of those officers must be closely monitored because of their presence at lab sites. Equipment used in meth investigations is costly, and much of it must be destroyed after each use because of contamination.
Meth’s impact on the criminal justice system is huge. In Tennessee, increasing amounts of taxpayer money are needed to house, feed and medicate inmates, three-fourths of whom have been arrested on meth-related charges.