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Article Summary

Creating Meth

Methamphetamine or Meth production is easy. The desire to consume meth among addicts is seemingly unstoppable. When chemicals used to make meth are bought under very tight control in a given country i.e. the US, Meth production moves to another country that has less control. Meth is then shipped back to the very countries against its production. Most of the meth found in the United States is produced in Mexico in very large labs known as super labs. There are however many small labs in the US under operation. These labs however concentrate of serving the needs of small local populations of meth addicts.

Creating Meth in the US is very difficult as a result of strict federal regulations which are aimed at monitoring and controlling the flow of chemicals (precursor chemicals) i.e. pseudoephedrine and ephedrine as well as many other necessary chemicals/components used for producing Meth. Through subterfuge, theft, forgeries, personal connections and willpower, determined Meth cooks succeed to gather enough chemicals/materials for making home-grown meth.

Meth Labs

This fact alone is however not enough to stop meth addicts from creating batches of stinking, fuming, toxic product fast in very poorly ventilated environments. Houses that act as meth labs i.e. where meth is created are usually uninhabitable afterwards. Authorities engaged in pursuing meth cooks usually don't bother seizing property because the property isn't safe for people to live in.

Small meth labs are usually located in motel rooms, suburban houses, car trunks and also at campsites, in the woods among other places. Outdoor meth operations are usually associated with dangerous effects i.e. land, air and water pollution. As stated above, meth production results in a lot of waste. This waste in outdoor meth operations ends up contamination water and polluting land to the extent of destroying vegetation.

Large-scale meth labs are usually located inside large abandoned warehouses or barns that have been set up specifically for creating meth. It is important to note that meth labs are few i.e. they only make up approximately 4% of all meth labs. They however produce the most meth i.e. approximately 80% of all meth that ends up being sold in the street. Super labs are therefore the main targets of authorities out to eradicate the meth menace.

It is important to note that meth can be created in many different ways. Regardless of the form i.e. meth or crystal meth, there are many different routes of making the drug. All these different routes however involve the use of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine. The entire process of making meth can involve up to 32 different chemicals. Without looking into the exact meth recipe, we will concentrate on how large-scale meth operations create meth.


If the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine are both not in pure powder form, then he first step is separating the two chemicals from cold medicine and tablets containing the chemicals. To be able to do this, cold medicine tablets have to be mixed with any preferred solvent. The resulting solution must then be filtered and then subjected to low temperatures for the inert materials contained in the tablets to be separated and removed.

The next step is mixing pure pseudoephedrine with hydriodic acid and red phosphorus. Red phosphorus in the mixture is then filtered carefully because it will be reused later. A lye solution is then used to neutralise remaining acid. The next step is then to add a substance that binds meth together. The remaining liquid meth is drained out in this step.

The next step after draining the liquid meth out is passing hydrogen chloride gas through the resulting liquid meth to form crystalline hydrochloride salt. The salt is then poured through a filter. This leaves pure meth on the filter. This meth is then dried. Once the meth is dry, it is stepped on i.e. mixed together with an inert filler to maximize profits when selling. The meth is then weighed and packed for sale or shipment.

The whole process of creating meth lasts approximately two days. This however depends on a number of factors i.e. availability of ingredients/chemicals, expertise of meth cooks e.t.c. This process results in production of hundreds if not thousands of doses of methamphetamine.

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