Increased drug and meth use through COVID-19 pressure is having a serious effect on homes.
Calls to suicide hotlines are up over 400%
Drug deaths have risen an average of 13 percent so far this year over last year
Sharpest increase in annual drug deaths since 2016
Meth smoked in a single room can contaminate the entire house through the HVAC system, creating a health hazard for everyone. A contaminated property cannot be sold or rented until it has been remediated by a certified provider.
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An article from the National Institute of Drug Abuse stated that “ More than 70 percent of local law enforcement agencies from the pacific and west central regions of the US report methamphetamine as the greatest drug threat in their area”. Here is an article right here in Utah about the meth problems in homes and rental units.
The Utah Department of Health says that “once a property has been contaminated by meth production or usage, it remains that way until properly decontaminated.”
This is especially concerning for families with young children who may be more likely to come in contact with residue left from either use of meth or production of it.
The Utah Department of Health has some great resources for the owner, seller, buyer, landlord, or renter. Take a look at their pages they have a great layout that is easy to read but also contains good information. Here is a link to the main page. On the left hand side you will see a place that says Methamphetamine and Your Property.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
KSL news report of man high on meth:
- The first step on any cleaning of a home is to determine the levels of contamination and the areas of the home that are affected by contamination. A state certified decontamination specialist will take composite or grab samples which will be analyzed in a lab for contamination levels.
- The next step is to create a work plan on what our process of decontamination will be. We will begin coordination with the health department. This is one of the most important steps as it will allow the health department to see the extent of the damages to the home. The health department will grant permission for a state certified decontamination specialist to begin working on the home.
- Now the most exciting part can begin, the cleaning and decontamination. Decontamination begins by removing all affected porous items from the home such as carpet and pad. The ventilation system will then be cleaned to remove debris and remediate contamination. Each of the affected rooms on the property will have a decontaminating solution applied to all structures, followed by a detergent and a deep clean. This is the process that will actually begin to remediate the methamphetamine in the home. This process may need to be repeated depending on the severity of the contamination.
- The final step of the remediation is the most important. This step begins by taking a test of each of the affected areas and submitting it to the lab for analysis. If the results meet or exceed the state of Utah’s mandate then the cleaning has been successful. At this point a final report will be sent to the health department for a final clearance. When the clearance has been granted the home can now be reoccupied! If this home was on the state of Utah’s contaminated property list, then it can now be removed.