WHAT IS METHAMPHETAMINE?
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant drug that dramatically affects the central nervous system. It is usually illegally produced and distributed.
Meth comes in several forms, including powder, crystal, rocks, and tablets.
When it comes in the crystal form it is called “crystal meth.”
HOW IS METH MADE?
Unlike drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, which are derived from plants, meth can be manufactured using a variety of store bought chemicals.
The most common ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. Through a cooking process the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is chemically changed into meth. The ingredients that are used in the process of making meth can include: ether, paint thinner, Freon®, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid, and lithium (taken from inside batteries).
Superlabs produce large quantities of meth and supply organized drug trafficking groups that sell the drug in communities across the U.S. Most of the larger labs are controlled by Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations operating in the U.S. and Mexico.
Small Toxic Labs produce smaller quantities of meth. These labs can be set up in homes, motel rooms, inside automobiles, and in parks or rural areas - really almost anywhere. (Since the passage of state and federal laws restricting the retail availability of certain precursors, the prevalence of these types of labs has waned, giving way to increased smuggling of high-quality meth from foreign superlabs).