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What can I do about a suspicion of apartment neighbor's drug use?

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#17
Now, I'm doubting myself if I'm doing something wrong. I really don't mean to accuse my fellow residents wrongly. However, I have some reasons that I thought it might be DMT. I would like to have your honest opinions and also information what else smells like mothballs.

Here is my reasons,

1. DMT smells like mothballs. I found a chemical report said DMT and mothball consist of very similar chemicals. I can't find which one I read, but I remember that it said the differences are a couple of things.

2. DMT is consumed by smoking. It was mentioned in several drug educational sites and also confirmed by a police officer who is in the police department that did raid to a DMT labs several years ago. A pattern of spreading smell is very close to smoke to me. We have had a smoke issue over two years and I'm quite familiar with how the smell spreads.

The hallway where the unidentified smell and the mothballs smell happens is the first floor. Our unit is on the 2nd floor. When the mothballs smell seeped into our unit in the middle of the night, that hallway was filled with very strong mothballs smell. The mothballs smell is not always there.

3. A popular marijuana smells like skunk. I mean I experienced what I thought skunk smell was actually marijuana. I was wondering why I smelled skunk often in the apartment, and I found that it was marijuana. I found it out by google first, then I encountered someone was smoking it.

When I smelled very strong mothballs smell in the hallway for the first time, even though it was quite unusual smelling it in the hallway, I didn't doubt about it. However, it happens more than one time, and it seeps into our unit, I started to doubt what it really was.
 
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quincy

Senior Member
#18
Now, I'm doubting myself if I'm doing something wrong. I really don't mean to accuse my fellow residents wrongly. However, I have some reasons that I thought it might be DMT. I would like to have your honest opinions and also information what else smells like mothballs.

Here is my reasons,

1. DMT smells like mothballs. I found a chemical report said DMT and mothball consist of very similar chemicals. I can't find which one I read, but I remember that it said the differences are a couple of things.

2. DMT is consumed by smoking. It was mentioned in several drug educational sites and also confirmed by a police officer who is in the police department that did raid to a DMT labs several years ago. A pattern of spreading smell is very close to smoke to me. We have had a smoke issue over two years and I'm quite familiar with how the smell spreads.

The hallway where the unidentified smell and the mothballs smell happens is the first floor. Our unit is on the 2nd floor. When the mothballs smell seeped into our unit in the middle of the night, that hallway was filled with very strong mothballs. The mothballs smell is not always there.

3. A popular marijuana smells like skunk. I mean I experienced what I thought skunk smell was actually marijuana. I was wondering why I smelled skunk often in the apartment, and I found that it was marijuana. I found it out by googled first, then I encountered someone was smoking it.

When I smelled very strong mothballs smell in the hallway for the first time, even though it was quite unusual smelling it in the hallway, I didn't doubt about it. However, it happens more than one time, and it seeps into our unit, I started to doubt what it really was.
Oh. You definitely could be smelling drugs.

It is just best not to identify any tenant in your building as a drug user. If you are wrong, the tenant is not likely to be happy with you. ;)

You can report the smell. Others in the building no doubt are smelling it, too.
 
#19
Thank you for taking time to reply me, quincy. I sense you are too nice to say what I wrote was ridiculous. I appreciate your kindness.

I'm getting clear about what really bothers me. I need some drastic change about a smoke issue in our apartment. We have had the smoke issue over two years even though our lease has had a no smoking clause. Even the city's no smoking ordinance kicked in this year, the apartment management has not done anything. We experienced the entire apartment building was filled with smell of marijuana several times in this year. Even this much scale of smoking happened in the apartment, the apartment management has done nothing. As a resident, we have very few to improve the issue. We finally found one way to improve it. Then, this mothballs smell happened. It just fueled my anger.

I understand I have no way to prove whether the smell is DMT or not. If I could find a drug detecting dog service, I'm really happy to pay for it. I mean it's not that I want to report a resident to the police, I want to make the apartment management to take appropriate actions to the smoke issue. I know it sounds silly, but even though smoking in the apartment is a violation of the ordinance, we are not able to make the apartment management take any action, so I feel like we need something more illegal thing to make them resolve the issue at this point.

I appreciate all your opinions and suggestions. Thank you for taking time to reply my post.
 
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quincy

Senior Member
#20
Thank you for taking time to reply me, quincy. I sense you are too nice to say what I wrote was ridiculous. I appreciate your kindness.

I'm getting clear about what really bothers me. I need some drastic change about a smoke issue in our apartment. We have had the smoke issue over two years even though our lease has had a no smoking clause. Even the city's no smoking ordinance kicked in this year, the apartment management has not done anything. We experienced the entire apartment building was filled with smell of marijuana several times in this year. Even this much scale of smoking happened in the apartment, the apartment management has done nothing. As a resident, we have very few to improve the issue. We finally found one way to improve it. Then, this mothballs smell happened. It just fueled my anger.

I understand I have no way to prove whether the smell is DMT or not. If I could find a drug detecting dog service, I'm really happy to pay for it. I mean it's not that I want to report a resident to the police, I want to make the apartment management to take appropriate actions to the smoke issue. I know it sounds silly, but even though smoking in the apartment is a violation of the ordinance, we are not able to make the apartment management take any action, so I feel like we need something more illegal thing to make them resolve the issue at this point.

I appreciate all your opinions and suggestions. Thank you for taking time to reply my post.
You could try to organize like-minded residents and, as a group, approach management with your concerns.

I am not sure getting a drug-sniffing dog is a realistic option.

Whatever route you take, I hope eventually you have success in ridding your building of foul smells.

Good luck.
 
#21
Thank you for your reply, quincy. When I was looking for a drug detecting dog, my SO bluntly said I was too much. I know I got another vote for "too much" in nice way.:)

It is more likely we will use our city's mediation service soon. My SO prefers more cordial way to deal with the issue. I have kept failing to convince him to change our way to deal with them. Even I had the city's employee who deals with the no smoking ordinance visit our apartment and send a letter to the apartment management to comply the ordinance, they haven't done anything. Finally, he decided to go to the city's mediation service, but I'm not optimistic about it. I hope I can convince him to team up with other residents after the mediation doesn't go well.
 
#22
DMT is not a minor drug it's a powerful hallucinogenic.
DMT hasn't been seen for decades in any quantity because it's difficult to synthesize and it's easier and more profitable to synthesize drugs like methamphetamine and fentanyl. As for smelling mothballs, no way would you get a DA to sign off on a warrant with that as the probable cause, but if you were smelling something like ether or acetone that's a different matter.
Contact your landlord and tell him, but don't get involved yourself. Trust me if someone is making drugs they will have guns, lots of guns.
 
#23
Thank you for your reply, NeilTheCop. I just saw a news about a raid to an illegal marijuana grower in our region and it mentioned they seized 20 guns. I haven't thought about that aspect. Thank you for mentioning it.

I totally understand the law enforcements focus more on drug dealers and makers. I also understand why my local police said why they couldn't do anything. I know it's fat chance about involvement of the law enforcements. It's not that I am frustrated not getting help from the law enforcements. I am frustrated because I am not able to figure out what we are smelling in the apartment and I am frustrated myself I couldn't improve our situation.

We will keep working to improve the issue, but we will be more careful about it. Thank you again to take time to reply me.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#27
Curry can smell like mothballs. There is also a very good chance the OP hasn't a clue what mothballs actually smell like.
Curry has a distinctive smell but I wouldn't compare it to mothballs (which have a totally different distinctive smell).

There is a definite possibility that drugs are being used or manufactured in the apartment. It is determining this for sure when smell is the only evidence that can be problematic.

I know I ran across a "smell" case once somewhere. If I have time to locate it and it seems at all relevant, I will return with a handy-dandy link. :)
 
#30
Thank you for your reply, PayrollHRGuy, quincy and Zigner. I thought about food smell possibility, too and googled about it. However, so far I haven't found food smells like mothballs.

It sounds far fetched, and my SO actually said it was, so I bet you will think the same as my SO, but I want to disclose one more reason why I connected the mothballs smell and DMT. I'm not trying to prove I'm right about my assumption. Actually I want to know whether my assumption is really off or not by other people's point of view.

One more reason is the unidentified smell which I described it smelled like a straw mat and ligroin. As you notice, English is not my native language. I don't think the straw mat is well known in the US at all. It smells like weed, grass or some kind of plants. Also ligroin might not be the correct substance name in here, you might be familiar with other names like petroleum ether, naphtha, and benzine.

I did lots of digging to find how to distinguish the smell of the mothballs and DMT to check from the government sites to illegal drugs kind of forums. I found that DMT can be made from weed using ligroin. It was not mentioned in the government sites or drug education sites, so I understand the information sounds fishy. However, DMT has been used in religion in some parts of the world for a long time and it seems they make it from weed, plants like something in nature. I think I found about the religious use in the drug education sites, but I'm not 100% positive about it, because I checked numerous sites and I couldn't keep track of what information coming from where.

The only definite thing I can say is I'm very familiar with the mothballs smell. In my country, it has been very common to use them when we store the clothes. I can say I grew up with it.:)

I really appreciate you take time to reply my post. I'm learning many things from you and other angles to look at.
 
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