That’s right folks, you read that title correctly. Today, we’re teaching you how to make meth.

Okay, okay. We’re not actually going to provide a step by step guide. That would be dangerous and could unintentionally encourage illegal activities. However, we also know that the more information you have, the more likely you are to recognize and practice caution around a possible lab. So, in the spirit of safety and education, we’re going to share some of the details about methamphetamine and what it takes to create it.


What Is the Formula for Meth?



The chemical formula for meth is C10H15N. Illegal meth labs use chemical reactions to change stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine, into the street drug known as meth (or ice, crystal, speed, etc). This illicit chemistry takes place in what is commonly known as a meth lab.

Now, there’s no single method or way to go about cooking meth. (Make no mistake, though, every recipe is explosive, corrosive, and toxic.) Nevertheless, meth labs generally consist of a system of instruments such as burners, rubber tubing, and coffee filters. You can also expect stockpiled chemicals, propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue, or an unusual amount of trash.

We should, however, note that there are less complicated ways to produce meth. That includes the shake and bake method, which makes smaller batches anywhere a user chooses. Unfortunately, this process is still explosive and may consist of nothing more than a soda bottle, heat, and the necessary ingredients. (That makes it even more difficult to identify possible labs, which is why testing your homes, vehicles, and other property is so important.) 

In terms of the substance itself, meth is extremely addictive. It can come in powders, crystals, and even pills. That means you may find medicine bottles, pipes, and syringes too. (And yes, meth has the potential to make you ill, in all its forms – even the residue left behind from labs and smoking.)



Making Meth: Chemicals



Because there are so many methods, there’s no comprehensive list of ingredients. In fact, cookers substitute chemicals all the time, and that’s generally not to the betterment of the user or anyone involved.

However, there are some chemical compounds favored for their availability and price. Some of the typical materials we see include:

  • Acetone
  • Alcohol
  • Fertilizer
  • Bleach
  • Battery Acid
  • Drain Cleaner
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iodine
  • Lithium Batteries
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Salt
  • Sodium and Lithium Metal
  • Starting Fluid
  • Chlorine
  • Gun Cleaning Solvent

Many of the chemicals used in making meth leave behind their own toxic residues. That is part of why Utah requires decontamination for meth houses. You can visit the Utah Department of Health for more information on Utah law, as well as the materials common in meth houses. Or, as always, feel free to visit our other blogs.



Where Do People Make Meth?



Meth labs can turn up where you least expect: schools, cars, churches, storage units, barns, and more. And as we mentioned earlier, the shake and bake method has exponentially increased that list as well – and with less obvious evidence. That means even if you don’t see any signs of a lab, that doesn’t mean your property is free of meth. (In fact, smoking once is enough to contaminate a home on its own, and you can never tell who might use based on appearances.)

That is why we urge you to always test before buying or selling a home. It may also be wise when purchasing a used car, or a vehicle at auction, or when selecting a location for your business.

For more information on testing or decontamination, call a Certified Decontamination Specialist in your area. Or, if you’re in Utah, call AEI Decon at (801) 888-6698.


Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash.