What Goes Into Making Meth, How It's Sliced, and What It Tastes Like

Methamphetamine is primarily manufactured in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.

Meth produced in these labs (some of which are superlabs and some of which are domestic) is highly effective, relatively inexpensive, and widely available. Meth is made from the same chemical found in some cold remedies.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has banned an ingredient called pseudoephedrine. In an effort to slow the rise in meth production across the continent, the U.S. Congress has started keeping close tabs and enacting strict regulations.

To make methamphetamine, a cold medicine base is combined with solvents and cutting agents, then water is added, and the mixture is heated until the meth can be extracted.

Most methamphetamine produced in underground labs starts out as cold medication, specifically products containing decongestants like ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

Water is added to the base, which has already been mixed with other common household items and solvents like acetone and phosphorus.

After that's done, it's baked to remove the substance from the liquid and turn it into crystals.

A List Of The Methamphetamine Ingredients

Antifreeze, battery acid, and drain cleaner are just some of the common household items that can be used in the meth production process.

Meth production can be hard to trace because most of the ingredients are commonplace and available from a wide variety of sources, including grocery stores and hardware stores, none of which are required to keep these substances in stock.

Ammonia without water

Although it is more commonly found in commercial fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia is a crucial component in the meth manufacturing process.

Many people who sell meth also engage in the illegal practice of stealing ammonia from farms and other chemical plants because it is so difficult to obtain legally.


In order to protect the central nervous system (CNS) from being overloaded, lithium is a crucial ingredient in meth production.

Meth is made by adding lithium extracted from common household batteries like AAs and AAAs.


Ephedrine is primarily used to control blood pressure in patients undergoing anesthesia for procedures like surgery, but it is also a common ingredient in cold medications.

Combined with pseudoephedrine, this is one of the two primary ingredients in meth.


One caustic substance available commercially is lye, also known as sodium hydroxide. Lye is a member of the 'high alkali' family of chemicals.

It's used as a solvent in meth manufacturing and can be extremely harmful or even fatal if handled incorrectly.

Acetone, or paint thinner, is an example of an apropos chemical.

The final meth product is cleaned of any lingering impurities using paint thinner.

Even though acetone won't dissolve meth crystals, it can still be useful for cutting and washing the drug because of how quickly it dries and how little of a taste it leaves behind.

Meth can be cooked up in anything from a superlab to a motel room to a shipping container. Meth can be made in any secure location with the right apparatus.

Crystal meth is produced by adding cutting agents to a cold medicine base, typically one containing ephedrine.

Then, water is added, and solvents complete the recipe for purifying the meth. After that, crystals of meth are formed by baking it.

Meth Cooks

Someone who obtains the ingredients for, and then prepares methamphetamine in a fixed or mobile lab, is known as a "meth cook."

Laboratory Production Facilities for Methamphetamine

To be sure, superlabs are not as common as regular labs are in the average country. Due in large part to the ineffectiveness of Mexican drug enforcement agencies, many of them are currently located in Mexico.

These superlabs are typically located in secluded spots where methamphetamine vapors cannot be detected and the chemical catchbasins can be easily discarded.

Meth production often involves the use of cutting agents to reduce the overall potency of a batch while increasing the overall yield.

Thiosulfate of Sulfur

To this list, we can also add sulfuric acid (found in drain cleaners), which is both an effective and readily available ingredient in meth production.

You can buy it at any supermarket and use it to clean methamphetamine crystals.

Phosphorus, Red

Red phosphorus, an allotrope of regular phosphorus, is combined with iodine to make hydriodic acid, an essential ingredient in the production of meth.

It is crystal meth that is purified with this odorless, tasteless, and colorless acid.

The Rest of the Medications

Meth can be made from a wide variety of cold remedies, not just those containing ephedrine-based decongestants.

Meth can be made with ingredients like dextromethorphan (DXM), which is also found in many over-the-counter medications.

It's unclear how widely used or abused anti-diarrheal medications like Loperamide are among meth producers.

Material in Powder Form

Methamphetamine can be synthesized using powdered substances like red phosphorus, iodine salts or crystals, and lithium.

Copper salts and crushed amphetamine tablets are two examples of powdered chemicals that can be used to alter the appearance of meth or as a "fluffing" agent.


Fentanyl, a highly lethal synthetic opioid, is sometimes used to spike the potency of methamphetamine production.

An almost instantaneous overdose can occur upon touching pure fentanyl, even when wearing multiple layers of protective gloves.

Meth production can be identified in a number of ways, such as the presence of chemical waste, the presence of toxic fumes, and so on.

Large Amounts of Pseudoephedrine Sold Without a Prescription

An unusual or excessive need for cold remedies can be a telltale sign of methamphetamine production.

In accordance with a law recently passed by the United States Congress, law enforcement agencies are closely monitoring the distribution of certain decongestants. S Methamphetamine precursor product sales must be regulated by Congress.

Bad Chemicals

Toxic chemical fumes are released into the air from the process and ingredients used to make crystal meth, making the production of meth fairly easy to detect due to the smell.

Radioactive Waste

It is impossible to manufacture meth without the use of chemicals, so the presence of unusually large quantities of toxic waste bins is a sure sign of a meth lab in the area.

Methamphetamine production may also be indicated by suspicious people trying to remove toxic waste in isolated areas or at odd hours.

People who have struggled with meth addiction can find help from a wide variety of treatment programs.

Provided by drug rehabilitation centers are some examples of services for substance abuse:

  • Medically-monitored detoxification programs
  • treatment options including hospitalization and community-based services
  • Possibilities for Residential Treatment
  • Counseling for Mental Health
  • Courses for Higher Learning and Career Exploration
  • Medication-assisted therapy (MAT)
  • Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Support for mental and behavioral health

Call our toll-free hotline now to talk about admission to Bedrock Recovery Center if you or someone you care about needs help with methamphetamine abuse.

We can get you started on the road to recovery from your drug addiction today with our wide range of high-quality, proven treatment programs.

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