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A friend of mine makes a movie about drugs (for real) and I'm helping with his research. We want to stage a crystal meth lab situation. What kind of ingredients would we need? I don't need a tutorial, we don't want to really make meth.
Any kind of information would be highly appreciated.
This depends on what method your cooks are using - are they trailer trash cooks? Then maybe show them performing a makeshift shake and bake (google it).
Here is some information on the general methods to make it.
Different Reactions to Synthesize Methamphetamine
It is very important to understand that there are a number of different reactions which are performed to produce methamphetamine. Of the various syntheses only two are applicable to home chemists, utilizing easily available ephedrine or pseudo ephedrine as a precursor.
Reduction With Hydroponic Acid and Red Phosphorus
Lithium-Ammonia Reduction of Ephedrine to Methamphetamine
There are many more safely scalable industrial methods used to produce the drug, that are simply not practical for the home chemist.
Most Syntheses Are Based On These Methods..
Almost all the syntheses available online are based on either of the above reactions. Through years of clandestine manufacture, amounts, times and substitute chemicals have been tweaked and refined. The problem is that many who know little or nothing about the chemistry of the syntheses share their discoveries. Many speculate, without having ever even bared witness to the procedure. Formulas are further adjusted and copied through different forums, blogs and websites, leading to a complete breakdown of the authenticity of the information presented – and providing formulas that can only end up in failure, explosion, or both.
The Lithium-Ammonia Reduction is a method derived from a reaction called “The Birch Reduction“. This method involves the use of Anhydrous Ammonia, a particularly nasty chemical, mixed with lithium. Various solvents and sodium hydroxide are used in this method. Commonly referred to as “The nazi method”, in reference to the german soldiers that reportedly manufactured it for their own use during WWII, when military supplies were not forthcoming. “One pot method”, or “Shake and bake” methods are derivatives of the original formula, using ammonium nitrate in place of anhydrous ammonia. This method produces a crystal with less impurities than syntheses utilizing red phosphorus, as well as being higher yeilding.
Hydroiodic Acid/Red Phosphorus Method
The Hydroiodic Acid/Red Phosphorus Method (and derivatives) is often referred to as “the matchbook method”, in reference to matchbooks being the source of red phosphorus in this reaction. This reaction utilizes sodium hydroxide (lye), iodine, and red phosphorus to produce methamphetamine.
See, the scare tactic with Meth is the campaigns to say that addicts are slamming drain o or lye.. but those chemicals are simply used to purity the ephedrine and then chemically transform it into Meth.. So if done properly, you're not taking any horrible chemicals, and if you are they are in minimal amounts.
Some of these purifying chemicals can be...
Coleman Camp Fuel
Lithium strips (Get by cutting open Energizer AA Lithium batteries)
Boxes 120mg 12-hour pseudoephedrine HCl (PSE).
Sulfuric Acid OR muriatic acid
Denatured Alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol
If you're going to show the actors doing a "shake and bake" then you'll need a sizeable pyrotechnics budget for the subsequent lab explosion. It's generally regarded to be an extremely dangerous thing to do.
Let's not get too chemistry-orientated though please, otherwise this will have to move into the methamphetamine chemistry forum. Much as I loathe it OP could perhaps watch a few episodes of Breaking Bad to get some ideas on how to present a believable clandestine lab?
Man its as simple as having vials and flasks filled with colored liquids. Thats what they always do in the TV shows. Unless the person watching actually knows what a lab looks like first hand they wont be able to tell, or care for that matter really.
Then have white powders and crystals placed on a scale. Distillation setup running. And something boiling on a bunsen burner LOL then your straight.
If its going to look more clandestine. An apt type setting with same thing only have the chemicals strewn everywhere just like a meth head would haha.
I think the basic point could be put across if there's lots of boxes of generic Sudafed around (make sure it's not the PE kind - you'd need the boxes that are behind the counter @ the pharmacy) a couple boxes of matchboxes (don't have to really worry if they're the "right" kind, since it's for a movie) and, um...I'm not sure where the Iodine comes from in the RP/I method. Along with glass beakers or something & some coffee filters.
Regardless, why not just google/preferred search engine "methamphetamine recipe" & see what they use?
I know your video has probably already been made and this is probably unnecessary but if you want to understand the constituents of most drugs you just have to study the nomenclature and Methamphetamine ( which literally means N-Methyl-Alpha-Methyl-Phenyl-Ethyl-Amine ) Methyl -> methanol Phenyl -> benzene Ethyl -> ethanol Amine -> Ammonia This has a much simpler name which actually makes understanding the synthesis a lot less confusing.. N-Methyl Phenyl Propan-2-Amine but if i went any further in this discussion i might get killed..