Rotting teeth, thinning hair, and pick marks on the arms and legs are all indicators of meth users. But a house where meth is cooked can be a lot harder to detect.
"It gives them 24 full hours in a day because they don't have to eat, they don't have to sleep, they can clean all day," explains Deputy Rodney Rolenson from the Upshur County Sheriff's Department.
Chemicals like liquid Draino, starting fluid, and battery acid, are just a few things users ingest. But the meth bust is only the beginning. These houses can be so contaminated with chemicals from cooking that anyone who encounters it can become sick.
"Chemicals are going to be on the walls, in the carpet. If you have small children and they're crawling around on the carpet you're going to get the residue on their arms and potentially the effects could affect the people living in the residence," said Deputy Rolenson.
Even with a strict clean up operation in place in our state, it's not impossible for some of these homes to slip through the cracks and end up back on the market.
Deputy Rolenson said, "I knew instances where there has been a meth lab there, it's been condemned, and the landlord moves someone in right away."
Or they just end up being used over and over again to cook meth. If you end up in one of these houses, you could end up losing everything you own.
"No one is to be in that home at all, until it's cleaned up," explained Deputy Rolenson
So how can you tell if you're about to move into a meth house or if there is an active one nearby? First, check out the state's Health and Human Resources website. They have a list of properties that have had meth labs on site and can tell you whether or not they've gotten a clearance. Also watch out for strong odors, people coming in and out at unusual times, and excessive amounts of trash.