South Carolina Kids Find Meth Lab Dumping Ground

| by Alexander Rubinstein

A group of children discovered a dump site for material used in a meth lab in Joanna, South Carolina, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said. The state is said to be in a "meth epidemic."

Sheriff Ricky Chastain said the kids discovered the site of possibly dangerous materials in the woods near Joanna.

The kids, aged 9, 7 and 5, discovered the dump site around 7 p.m. on a trail near their home. They were outside riding bicycles, Tammy Medlin, their aunt, said.

Medlin said she made the boys wash their hands immediately. She then called the police.

“People need to realize, you don’t just throw stuff in the woods,” Medlin said. “It could really hurt someone. Whoever did it needs to realize kids don’t know what that is and could really get hurt.”

Medlin said the children are fine and that officials were on scene for hours cleaning up the discarded materials, reports Fox Carolina.

In January, Colleton County Sherrif’s Deputies arrested a man after they found three small meth-making labs inside his home inside small portable containers.

In April, also in Colleton, deputies responding to a call that a woman had been contaminated by a spill in a meth lab, discovered not only the lab on the back porch, but 20 kittens and four adult cats, reports ABC News 4.

In May, Goose Creek Police responded to a domestic violence call. After the suspect fled, officers discovered “materials consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamines.”

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the number of meth labs in the state had nearly tripled in five years from 2007 to 2012 and the trend is apparently continuing.

South Carolina shot up to be in the top 10 meth-producing states in the country, leading the state to request federal assistance, reports ABC News 4.

Methamphetamine, or "crystal meth," is an illegal drug that's highly addictive. It can cause a wide range of side effects, including loss of teeth, irregular heartbeat, blurred vision, dizziness, tremors, insomnia, and repetitive and obsessive behaviors. It also has a high association with anxiety, depression, methamphetamine psychosis, suicide and violent behaviors.

Sources: Fox Carolina, ABC News 4 (2) (3), Wikipedia / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons