Three weeks ago, an explosion in a room at a nursing home near Cleveland fatally burned a man who lived there. It turned out he was operating a meth lab. The Cleveland Plain Dealer asked how the operation could have gone undetected in a nursing home. The answer: As odd as it might seem to those unfamiliar with the meth trade, law enforcement officials say it is entirely possible that someone could have used a room at the home as a makeshift lab without attracting the attention of residents or employees.
In fact, they say the case illustrates a new and very dangerous evolution in the methods used to make the drug. Meth makers once needed a room full of apparatus, including cookers. But today they often shun the cooking process in favor of a “one pot” method in which a toxic stew is prepared in a 2-liter bottle and then shaken to create a reaction. The latest “meth labs” can fit inside a shopping bag. The one-pot phenomenon, also referred to as “shake and bake,” has caused a surge in traumatic burn injuries across the country.