‘Toxic’ meth found in more Nelson homes

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The increase of available meth in Nelson is impacting local home-owners, with more and more homes testing positive for contamination.

Last week, Nelson Weekly first reported news of an increase in methamphetamine, otherwise known as P, in the region, including record numbers of people failing a workplace drug test.

Police area commander Mat Arnold-Kelly says the drug is a problem in the region and is driven by gangs.

Kevin Taylor and Tracey Gray own Meth Screen, which specialises in testing homes for methamphetamine contamination.

They say the growing use of the drug means more people are having homes checked before buying them. In the past three years they’ve tested 30 homes in the top of the South, with half showing signs of P use. Tracey says the toxins from P in the walls of a home can cause respiratory problems, lack of sleep and skin rashes for those living there.

Kevin says they’ve been shocked by the results they’ve been getting.

“It’s staggered us just how many properties are out there that are contaminated, it’s knocked us back. And it’s not just in your stereotypical-looking flat either. There are multi-million properties that are contaminated.”

He says the drug commands a higher price in the South Island so it seems those running it are sending it south.

“There certainly seems to be more around at the moment because the use is causing the problems that we’re seeing.”

Kevin says just a few months of P smoke in a house can put it over the Ministry of Health limit that makes it unsafe to live in. Cleaning up a house that’s been contaminated by P can cost up to $80,000.