Archive for Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Meth recipe avoids anti-drug laws

August 25, 2009


Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward poses with items used in the “shake-and-bake” method of manufacturing methamphetamine. Drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a bag and mixed on the run.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward poses with items used in the “shake-and-bake” method of manufacturing methamphetamine. Drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a bag and mixed on the run.

— This is the new formula for methamphetamine: a two-liter soda bottle, a few handfuls of cold pills and some noxious chemicals. Shake the bottle and the volatile reaction produces one of the world’s most addictive drugs.

Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab — with filthy containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids and hundreds of pills. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions and was so hard to conceal that dealers often “cooked” their drugs in rural areas.

But now drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The “shake-and-bake” approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation to restrict large purchases of some cold medication.

“Somebody somewhere said ‘Wait, this requires a lot less pseudoephedrine, and I can fly under the radar,”’ said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.

An Associated Press review of lab seizures and interviews with state and federal law enforcement agents found that the new method is rapidly spreading across the nation’s midsection and is contributing to a spike in the number of meth cases after years of declining arrests.

Small scale, big dangers

The new formula does away with the clutter of typical meth labs, and it can turn the back seat of a car or a bathroom stall into a makeshift drug factory. Some addicts have even made the drug while driving.

The pills are crushed, combined with some common household chemicals and then shaken in the soda bottle. No flame is required.

Using the new formula, batches of meth are much smaller but just as dangerous as the old system, which sometimes produces powerful explosions, touches off intense fires and releases drug ingredients that must be handled as toxic waste.

One little mistake, such as unscrewing the bottle cap too fast, can result in a huge blast, and police in Alabama, Oklahoma and other states have linked dozens of flash fires this year — some of them fatal — to meth manufacturing.

“Every meth recipe is dangerous, but in this one, if you don’t shake it just right, you can build up too much pressure, and the container can pop,” Woodward said.

When fire broke out in older labs, “it was usually on a stove in a back room or garage and people would just run, but when these things pop, you see more extreme burns because they are holding it. There are more fires and more burns because of the close proximity, whether it’s on a couch or driving down the road.”

After the chemical reaction, what’s left is a crystalline powder that users smoke, snort or inject. They often discard the bottle, which now contains a poisonous brown and white sludge. Dozens of reports describe toxic bottles strewn along highways and rural roads in states with the worst meth problems.

The do-it-yourself method creates just enough meth for a few hits, allowing users to make their own doses instead of buying mass-produced drugs from a dealer.

Fewer cold pills needed

A typical meth lab would normally take days to generate a full-size batch of meth, which would require a heat source and dozens, maybe hundreds, of boxes of cold pills.

But because the new method uses far less pseudoephedrine, small-time users are able to make the drug in spite of a federal law that bars customers from buying more than 9 grams — roughly 300 pills — a month.

The federal government and dozens of states adopted restrictions on pseudoephedrine in 2005, and the number of lab busts fell dramatically.

The total number of clandestine meth lab incidents reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration fell from almost 17,400 in 2003 to just 7,347 in 2006.

But the number of busts has begun to climb again, and some authorities blame the shake-and-bake method for renewing meth activity.

The AP review of 14 states found:

• At least 10 states reported increases in meth lab seizures or meth-related arrests from 2007 to 2008.

• The Mississippi State Crime Lab participated in 457 meth incidents through May 31, up from 122 for the same period a year ago — a nearly 275 percent increase.

• Several states, such as Oklahoma and Tennessee, are on pace this year to double the number of labs busted in 2008. The director of Tennessee’s meth task force said the pace of lab busts in his state is projected to be about 1,300 for 2009, compared with 815 for all of 2008.

States surveyed by the AP also included Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.


RoeDapple 8 years, 8 months ago

Well, for those that didn't know, they do now. Complete with picture of ingredients needed.

How about "Quick and easy LSD"?

Or "Home Brew, Fun While You Run"?

...... "Growing Weed In Your Backpak"?

"Getting Your Best Buzz From Granny's Medicine Cabinet"?

Amy Heeter 8 years, 8 months ago

I suppose we will be hearing alot of booms around the area now and they won't be coming from South Park.

GardenMomma 8 years, 8 months ago

Just one more reason to never do meth! Look at all that crap you're putting into your body. Lighter fluid? Antifreeze? Acetone? Acid?

How awful.

igby 8 years, 8 months ago

Shake and bake, baby!

Shake and bake!


missmagoo 8 years, 8 months ago

the guy in this picture looks like a tool. and now we all now how to make meth! wow, my dream has come true.. not.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 8 months ago

Good grief. Drug taking primates, we are. How can people enjoy this poison?

SouthernBelle 8 years, 8 months ago

I cannot believe this article actually describes HOW to make meth. Sure hope no curious teenagers read the JW.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 8 months ago

i kind of want to make a batch of this just to see if i can. i won't sell it, and i certainly won't use it. but I'd hate to think that meth heads know how to do something that I don't.

jonas_opines 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey, can we do an informative piece on the new methods of hotwiring cars? I need something to do when I take my shake and bake meth. Hotwiring cars, and maybe black market gun purchases.

GmaD321 8 years, 8 months ago

While those of us who have allergies have to go to a pharmacy 3 times in a month to get a month's worth of relief. I always want to say "I'm fat and old and sleepy" when they want all the ID, etc. What's next, fingerprinting and DNA? When I asked why I couldn't just buy a month's worth like you would get in a prescription, they started talking to me about how many grams of whatever I'm allowed to purchase per month. I started feeling creepy just listening. Felt like a drug deal or something. The folks that want it for illicit purposes will get it. It only inconveniences those of us who want it for legitimate purposes.

monkeyspunk 8 years, 8 months ago

One look at that picture and all I can think is "Super Troopers"

Kathy Theis-Getto 8 years, 8 months ago

Scary stuff:

Long term effects of the drug.

Dependence and addiction Serious skin conditions Tooth decay and loss Psychosis Paranoia Hallucinations Mood disturbances Stroke Death

GmaD321 8 years, 8 months ago

Py, is there somewhere I can buy more than a 10 day supply of generic Claritin D? That's all they will allow me to buy at a time. Wal-Mart. Now, even though they have my info in their database they make me dig my driver's license out of my wallet each time I go as well. They can't just look at it in my wallet. Multi-usually the comments I make about giving fingerprints and a DNA sample get at least the others standing in line to chuckle. I gave up on prescription allergy meds. They kept putting them OTC and then insurance wouldn't pay for it. The only prescription one left that is not also OTC is allegraD and it doesn't work for me.

GmaD321 8 years, 8 months ago

Valkyrie-in other words, it makes you crazy, ugly and can kill you. You have to be crazy to put that stuff into your body in the 1st place. Look at the Faces of Meth and tell those people don't look scary as all get out.

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