The Associated Press reports a 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 most addictive drugs. Making meth used to require an elaborate lab, featuring with filthy containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids, and hundreds of pills.
Drug users now make their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper, simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The “shake-and-bake” approach requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine – an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws to restrict large purchases of cold medication. An AP review of lab seizures and interviews with law enforcement agents found that the new method is rapidly spreading across the U.S. midsection and is contributing to a spike in meth cases after years of declining arrests.