The Hillsdale County Sheriff's Office works in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Community Health to locally implement the Michigan Meth Watch program, a collaborative initiative that began in 1997 to reduce methamphetamine lab activity by making the theft or purchase of precursor products (or the ingredients used to make meth) more difficult.
Meth is an addictive drug that is frequently made in illegal "labs" that are often set up in homes, garages, and even wooded areas. Its manufacture gives off an odor similar to nail polish remover or cat urine. Other possible signs of a lab are large amounts of cold medication, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, coffee filters, batteries and/or antifreeze. As a result of meth production, these labs leave behind a great deal of toxic waste. For each pound of methamphetamine produced, five to six pounds of toxic waste is created. This waste poses long term hazards and can be present in soil and groundwater for years.