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Drugs in the wild

Reason not to use methamphetamine #478: Every pound of meth produces five to six pounds of toxic waste, according to SIERRA magazine. That’s right — the addictive stimulant used by close to 5 million Americans isn’t just bad for them, it’s bad for the environment too.

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Recently, authorities in Arizona uncovered a clandestine meth lab operation of three brothers whose property was so polluted it was deemed unlivable by county government. Nearby trees were killed from the fumes, and 20 cattle grazing miles downstream dropped dead.

The awful stench of the production process is relatively easy to detect in urban areas — where contamination risks to public resources like the water and air are also high — so many meth operations have moved off the radar and into the wild, threatening the ecosystem. Northeast Arizona for example, which looks like a national park, has been been designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the federal government.

Read the SIERRA article here.