Understanding Meth

While it seems to be major news today about meth/ice, use of the drug has been around for over 100 years. Amphetamine was first synthesised in 1887 in Germany by Romanian chemist Lazăr Edeleanu, who named it phenylisopropylamine.

Methamphetamine (Meth):- Meth is a highly addictive stimulant created in meth labs across the county. A meth user, swallows, snorts, injects or smokes the drug. To intensify the effects of the drug, a user may take a higher dose of the drug, take the drug more frequently, or take the drug in a different way.

Meth has many nicknames and street names. Also known as Chalk, Ice, P, Crank, Speed, Getgo, Go Fast, Poor Man's Coke, Redneck Cocaine and Crystal. Meth's takes the form of a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

Meth Used in Wars

One of the earliest uses of amphetamine and methamphetamine was during World War II when it was used by both Axis and Allied forces. It was widely distributed across German military ranks and divisions, from elite forces to tank crews and aircraft personnel, with many millions of tablets being distributed throughout the war for its performance-enhancing stimulant effects and to induce extended wakefulness.  

 

After the war, meth supply exceeded demand. Men no longer needed to use it for warfare, but pharmaceutical companies still wanted to make a profit, so they created an over-the-counter pill for the public. This launched the first meth epidemic, which spread from Japan to Guam, the U.S. Marshall Islands, and the U.S. West Coast from 1945 through the 1950s.

In the 1990s, during the Gulf War, amphetamine became the drug of choice for American bomber pilots, being used voluntarily by roughly half of U.S. Air Force pilots.

Meth Party Drug and Weight Loss

Party drug, we think of Meth as a “today” drug, but back in the 60s, the mod subculture in the UK was recreational amphetamine use, which was used to fuel all-night dances. Clubs Mods used the drug for stimulation and alertness, which they viewed as different from the intoxication caused by alcohol and other drugs.

Weight loss; in the 1970’s it was also marketed as a weight control pill under the name “Obetrol”.

Finding other uses:  Methamphetamine was formerly in widespread use by truck drivers to combat symptoms of somnolence and to increase their concentration during long haul trips.

Up to a quarter of college students use Adderall to help them focus on their studies instead of its intended purpose of helping people with ADHD. This use sometimes continues after the student graduates college due to its addictive properties.  As of 2015, amphetamines, especially Adderall, were increasingly used by young white-collar workers who work long hours at demanding jobs. Many felt drug use was necessary to perform adequately.

So Why is Home Baked Meth so Bad?

Just look at what ingredients are used to make home-baked Meth

The common ingredients of meth —along with where they’re found and their associated dangers— include:

  • Acetone is found in nail polish remover and paint thinner. It’s extremely flammable.

  • Anhydrous Ammonia is found in fertilizer and some cleaners. Mixing it with other chemicals creates a toxic gas.

  • Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine is found in some cold medicines and diet pills. It can harm the respiratory system, nervous system, and heart in large quantities.

  • Hydrochloric Acid is used to make plastic. It is so corrosive that it can remove rust from steel and is capable of eating away flesh.

  • Lithium is found in batteries. It burns the skin, is highly explosive, and reacts violently with water.

  • Red phosphorus is found on matchboxes, in road flares, and in other explosives. It is highly flammable.

  • Toluene is found in brake fluid. It is so corrosive it can dissolve rubber.

  • Sodium Hydroxide or lye is used to dissolve roadkill. It is corrosive and can also burn skin or cause blindness.

  • Sulfuric Acid is found in drain cleaner or toilet cleaner. It is corrosive and can also burn the skin.

As you can see, every ingredient involved in making meth is dangerous to humans on their own. This is why testing for meth use is a very important step before you purchase, rent or rent out a house. 

How Can You Spot a Meth Lab?
A house may contain a meth lab if you notice the following from outside:
  • Blacked-out windows.

  • Chemical cans or drums such as Drano, iodine crystals, lye, pool acid, antifreeze, etc.

  • Extensive security, such as “Beware of Dog” or “Private Property” signs, surveillance cameras, and listening devices.

  • High fences around the yard, especially when no animals are present.

  • Hoses hanging from windows.

  • Lots of trash.

  • Secretive or paranoid occupants.

  • The smell of solvents.

  • Visitors at odd hours, especially late at night.

A house may be a meth lab if you notice the following inside:

  • Ammonia.

  • Camping fuel.

  • Dismantled smoke detectors.

  • Empty pill bottles, and cans of alcohol, toluene, and paint thinner.

  • Funnels.

  • Lab equipment, like glass tubes, beakers, Bunsen burners, and large plastic containers.

  • Large amounts of cat litter.

  • Many stoves, hot plates, or blow torches.

  • Mason jars or other glass containers.

  • Melted pots and pans.

  • Numerous cold medicines or non-prescription weight-loss pills.

  • Plastic tubes.

  • Propane tanks.

  • Red-stained coffee filters.

  • Starter fluid.

If you believe that you’ve found a meth lab, do not approach it as the chemicals inside could be very dangerous, contact the homeowner, property manager or contact the police.

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