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Identifying Clandestine Drug Labs

A narcotics laboratory or production house is also frequently referred to as a clandestine drug laboratory or clan lab. These laboratories are mini-chemical labs designed for one purpose: to make deadly, illegal drugs quickly and cheaply.

"Clan lab" chemists can produce LSD, synthetic heroin and other drugs, but their drug of choice is methamphetamine, commonly called speed or crank. A smokeable form of methamphetamine called ice, glass or crystal is also produced.

Not only are these homemade drugs dangerous, but the labs that produce them can be located in any neighborhood and pose serious health and safety threats to the public. Toxic chemicals, explosions, fires, booby traps, armed criminals – any of these can mean disaster for the people who inadvertently stumble onto the labs.

If You Spot A Clan Lab

  • Leave the area at once. Anyone without proper training and protective gear should stay at least 500 feet away from any suspected clandestine laboratory.
  • Immediately contact your police or sheriff to notify them of your suspicions. Call 911 if you think you’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals or if you suspect a chemical leak in your neighborhood.
  • Don’t investigate because of the danger to you and anyone else in the area. Most law enforcement agencies have narcotics teams and hazardous material units. Busting clan labs is their job, let them do it.

If you would like more information on narcotics labs, visit the California Attorney General’s Division of Law Enforcement.



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