Many communities in our region are being affected by the dangerous production of the drug known as crystal meth.
On Thursday, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce had a wide open talk with its members about the spread of the highly addictive home-grown drug.
Many business owners and managers at the meeting didn't know what crystal meth is or how its use is spreading throughout Southwest Virginia.
Chamber members and guests met at the Christiansburg Holiday Inn on Peppers Ferry Road.
The guest speaker was Servpro business development coordinator John Tutle. Dressed in a company polo shirt, Tutle shared what he'd learned after three years of cleaning homes and apartments, where addicts made incredibly toxic meth, using lithium batteries.
"They'll open [the battery] up," said Tutle, "and they'll take the lithium strip and that's what actually causes it to boil in that one pot method."
Police from three different agencies, who sometimes work undercover, didn't want to be identified by the media. We asked police about meth addicts supposedly riding around on mopeds, mixing meth in the space underneath the seat.
The undercover officers all sat at the same front table. The highest ranking officer confirmed that mopeds have been used to make meth in this area. We also learned that statewide, there's no one set standard for how clean a dwelling must be after a meth bust, and before it can be lived in again.
Tutle said that decision is left up to different interpretations of what "clean'' is.
A new law, still waiting specific language, is expected to have legal teeth, and create a statewide standard for dwellings before they can be declared ''clean."
"Where this is going to affect people especially property managers and realtors, is with this," Tutle continued, "If you have a meth lab and you have not cleaned it up using the guidelines and procedures, you are going to have to disclose that."
There were so many questions from chamber members, that Tutle had to cut off the Q and A.
When the meeting was over, the chamber director, Catherine Sutton, said it clearly.
"Until if affects you," said Sutton, "and if you have any kind of relationship to something that this touches, then it affects you 100 percent."