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Georgetown isn't first college to find drug lab

Jenna Johnson

When I worked as a reporter in the Midwest, there was routine news about methamphetamine lab busts -- usually in isolated rural areas lacking neighbors who might smell or suspect something.

Then early Saturday morning, this news out of Georgetown University in the heart of Washington: Police discovered a suspected meth lab inside a freshman residence hall and evacuated the building. Later in the afternoon, officials said the drug being produced in the dorm was actually Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a hallucinogen.

My colleague Dan de Vise was on campus this morning and talked with a few of the 400 students who were forced to leave their warm beds in Harbin Hall early on a chilly fall morning. You can read his reporting, here.

Drug labs can be highly dangerous places, as the combination of chemicals used can lead to explosions -- which is why police at Georgetown say they immediately evacuated the dorm. And Georgetown isn't the first university to find a drug-making laboratory on or near campus.

In July, a 22-year-old chemistry student at the University of Central Florida was arrested and charged with making methamphetamine in his apartment near campus, according to the Palm Beach Post. Two years ago, a UCF dorm was evacuated because of an explosion allegedly caused by a 19-year-old student trying to convert an Adderall prescription into meth, according to WFTV Channel 9.

And in 2002, police at Southern Methodist University found a meth lab in a campus music practice room just after fall break ended, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Already there are more than 150 articles out on the web about Georgetown's lab. Right now on Twitter, "Georgetown University," "DMT," "Meth Lab" and "Harbin" are trending in the D.C. area.

The Post will continue reporting -- but also check out the Georgetown student newspaper, The Hoya, which has been posting breaking news updates on its website all day. And for minute-by-minute updates on Twitter, follow @GtownVoice, a Georgetown weekly news magazine and blog.

UPDATED at 2:25 p.m. to include new information about which drug was allegedly being produced in the dorm room lab.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | October 23, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags:  Georgetown, Southern Methodist University, University of Central Florida  
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Comments

Except it turns out it wasn't a meth lab at all.

Posted by: vfr2dca | October 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

A drug lab is a drug lab is a drug lab is a drug lab is a drug lab is a drug lab is a drug lab....

Posted by: whatsreallygoingon | October 23, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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