Do you have a former meth lab for a neighbor?
Homeowners have a new way to make sure they are staying aware of what's going on in their neighborhood.
According to the TBI, the days of drugs being manufactured at home are not over. Compared to years past, the number of meth labs found in Tennessee is down.
It's also easier than ever to know if a meth lab is near you.
An interactive online map, designed by the American Addiction Centers, helps to make people aware of drug activity near them specifically, meth labs.
Ruchi Dhami, who works on the map team, wants people to realize pose a real threat.
“They are in our communities,” said Ruchi Dhami. “They are a lot closer than we think.”
The data comes from public records, kept by federal law enforcement, and allows you to search any address in the United States.
We gave it a try, using the address of one of the most recent drug busts in Hamilton County.
Put in an address from this East Ridge neighborhood, and you'll be given the distance you live from a building on Burr Street.
Charles Newby says he was at home sleeping when police raided this rental property in 2017.
“We've been constantly thinking about if we should stay or move,” said Charles Newby. “Sometimes when you have a home, and you're between jobs you just have to put your foot down and stay.”
Special Agent Tommy Farmer with the TBI says meth-related arrests and medical seizures as the result of using drugs are still common.
He says it's the access to ingredients needed to make or cook these drugs that make it so dangerous.
“It does not require a whole lot of chemicals,” said Tommy Farmer. “You can pick a little lot of the chemicals up at hardware stores, and what you can't pick up there is the Internet.”
Farmer sees more fentanyl cases but is not letting his guard down when it comes to meth.
Newby says his community is tight-knit, and he's quick to use any tool available to keep a close watch on suspicious activity.
“As you see, they come in. They kind of stay to themselves,” said Newby. “If you called him out on it, they get a little edgy. You know what he's doing. I know where they are going, and he knows where he's going.”
From 2007 to 2016 more an 18,000 labs were found in Tennessee.
If you'd like to check out how far you live or work from a meth lab visit the Rehabs.com website.