New meth formula avoids anti-drug laws

By Universal Expat · Aug 25, 2009 · Updated Aug 25, 2009 · ·
  1. Universal Expat
    Recipe avoids the need for an elaborate lab to make the addictive drug

    TULSA, Okla. - 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.

    New method catching on
    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.

    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.

    "If there is any oxygen at all in the bottle, it has a propensity to make a giant fireball," said Sgt. Jason Clark of the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control. "You're not dealing with rocket scientists here anyway. If they get unlucky at all, it can have a very devastating reaction."

    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.

    More extreme burns
    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.

    "It simplified the process so much that everybody's making their own dope," said Kevin Williams, sheriff of Marion County, Ala., about 80 miles west of Birmingham. "It can be your next-door neighbor doing it. It can be one of your family members living downstairs in the basement."

    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.

    Decline in meth lab incidents
    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.

    From todays MSNBC

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  1. honourableone
    I'm pretty sure TEKs on this method got deleted because of how dangerous it is. They were quite common at one point.
  2. Universal Expat
  3. Alfa
    The sake n bake method can be found here: shake n bake
    Most threads on the topic are closed, because of the dangers involved and the other negative aspects of this method. These are explained in the closing statement of each thread.
  4. beizebopp
    Or clean ones on hotplates.. lol

    SWIM has heard that shake n bake is nasty.
    Apparently it takes only 30 minuites to create a batch. Surely this is too short a reaction for a decent yield?
    Is this new method supposedly more efficient? SWIM would have thought that taking the time to set up a lab when the ingredients can simply be mixed is a little odd.
  5. crankedup

    Sorry to all of you out there hoping for a miracle cure to problems with scoring good meth cheap.

    Not at all possible unless you are willing to smoke some seriously flawed substance. Law and Enforcement know it too but are jumping on the bandwagon in order to further spread the hysteria about Meth and all its associated dangers.

    So don't even think about trying it. You'll waste your time.
  6. Crystal_Queen
    Swims infernal majesty tried this out after a lot of research and web searching.
    She didn't find it dangerous at all. She is wondering if the dangers are exagerated to discourage people from trying it...and it getting to much which case she apologise for saying it but she's frustrated that there is nowhere to post questions about it without it being a "how-to"...she says the end crank kept her up for 3 days without being recrystallized but that it had a very different feel. wakefulness without the "warm happy feeling",yield was only .5 which is a horrible waste if normal however this might be her mistake. Like she tells swim it had a peppermint taste..would that be from the fuel? and why do they say to cover the lithium with lye when the lithium just floats to the top anyway? Could she ask basic questions like this if she pays for membership? Se isn't planning any farm heist in the what other way is there?

    swim apologizes for her bluntness but she said she had to get that out, weather this post gets deleted or not.
      Stewart5 likes this.
  7. Alfa
    Generally the proposed procedure goes as such: it involves mixing ammonium nitrate, sodium hydroxide and pseudoephedrine hydrochloride in a bottle (most of the time, it is reported that pills are used as is without proper extraction), afterwards diethyl ether is poured in the bottle followed by the addition of chunks of lithium. At the very end, a few mL's of water are added to the bottle and the latter is shaken. Since a supersaturated sodium hydroxide solution mix with ammonium nitrate will generate a great amount of ammonia gas, this will saturate the non-polar layer, which will contain some lithium (some of it will surely react with water) and pseudoephedrine freebase. The idea behind the whole scheme is that the ammonia generated in situ will solvate electrons necessary for the reduction of the pseudoephedrine molecule.

    There’s no way you can have realistic control on such a setup. The probability of fire or/and explosion is extremely high since lithium and water are coming into contact. A single spark, or sufficient heat, can make the ether within the bottle ignite which could lead to an explosion. Some advocates of the method will claim that no air is present within the system, but a single air pocket is sufficient to lead to catastrophic results. Since the procedure results are pretty much based on a gamble and not on scientific rigor, it is not worth the risks to attempt such a procedure. Many will argue that “standard” ways of producing methamphetamine (such as the hydroiodic acid or liquid ammonia/Lithium reduction of (pseudo)ephedrine) are equally as dangerous but I strongly disagree. If properly equipped, informed and prepared theoretically, one can have sufficient control and strong reliable safety measures to overcome any sorts of problems that the two latter procedures can generate.

    So overall since the many variations of the “shake n bake” methods founded online are all involving the following negative aspects:

    -Pseudoephedrine is never extracted from the pills

    -The equipment used is very crude (expanding plastic soda pop bottle or non-heat resistant glass bottle).

    -Extreme dangers related to the reagents chemical interactions.

    -Failure to guarantee reasonable control over the course of the reaction.

    -Write-ups always wrote in very poor English lacking explicit details about the possible dangers and precautions that are mandatory for each steps.

    -No work-ups of the “final product” and means of purification.

    This has made it a no-brainer to ban this procedure as a thread subject from the DF chemistry forum.
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