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Article Summary

What is Meth Made Of

Methamphetamine or Meth for short, is a highly addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. The whitish powder or rock is either snorted, smoked or injected via an intravenous needle. Once a drug that was mainly used in rural areas of the Western United States, the face of Meth has changed drastically over the years. Meth addiction is affecting people of all income levels and races, devastating families as well. The ease of making the drug and the common household items that can be used as ingredients make Meth labs very difficult for law enforcement to find and destroy before damage has already been done. There has however been a crackdown by many states to attempt to control the making of Meth by monitoring the sales of two of its key ingredients that are commonly bought from drug stores everywhere. What is Meth made of? The answer is a list of highly toxic yet commonly known chemicals.

Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine

The chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are two key ingredients found in Meth that are found in many over the counter cold medications. After studies of the long lasting effects of ephedrine, the FDA made the decision to ban the sale of the drug in the United States. Yet, it is still relatively easy to find through the Internet and by illegal sales in Mexico. Pseudoephedrine however, is still a key ingredient in many over the counter nasal decongestant and asthma medications. Because of the increase of Meth usage and Meth labs popping up all over the U.S., many states limit the amount of cold medication you can purchase and also require that a license is submitted at the time of purchase to help track the user.

Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium Hydroxide or lye is a highly toxic chemical commonly found in paint stripper and drain cleaners. The corrosive chemical is used in Meth production to change the pH of the solution. Sodium Hydroxide can have extreme reactions when combined with other chemicals causing splashing and burns to the skin.

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid is a highly corrosive chemical that is extremely dangerous to handle. The acid is typically used industrially to remove rust from metal pipes. In addition, the acid is also capable of eating away human flesh.


Ether refers to a group of chemicals that are very dangerous and highly flammable. Ether is one of the main causes for Meth labs abruptly blowing up into flames. When inhaled this chemical can cause a hypnotic state and is often used in many third world countries as an alternative to traditional anesthesia. This ingredient is used to strip the color off of over the counter medications, allowing the pure ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to be extracted.

Red Phosphorus and Iodine

Red Phosphorus and iodine are two vital chemicals needed for the production of Meth. The two chemicals can be combined to create hydrochloric acid, another essential ingredient. In order to purchase red phosphorus without raising suspicion, strike matches or highway flares are used to create the chemical. Iodine is an element that if taken in high doses can be extremely toxic. The element is purchased in large amounts in order to produce a few grams of Meth.

Anhydrous Ammonia

This very toxic chemical can take the form of liquid or gas and even in very small doses can cause extreme side effects, even death. Often found in household cleaners and fertilizers, it is used as a key ingredient in Meth. Although it is not used in every recipe for Meth, it is often used to make some of the purist forms of Meth out on the streets. The risk in handling this chemical is great and often causes harm to eyes, skin and lungs.

Brake Fluid and Lighter Fluid

The use of these two chemicals help increase the chances of a Meth lab spontaneously combusting into flames. Both are used in the cooking process and both carry warning labels that address the high possibility of igniting into flames when used around other chemicals. The digestion of these chemicals can result in vomiting, nausea and even death.

The ingredients in Meth can vary depending on the method being used, but at its core the essential components stay the same. What is Meth made of? This destructive drug is made up of chemicals and elements that are not intended for human consumption. Methamphetamine is also made up of pain and suffering for the user and all that are acquainted with them.

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