According to a report in the Daily News, drug users have been cutting out not only the “middle man,” but the drug manufacturer as well – at least when it comes to crystal meth. When the report was published, drug users all across the nation had begun to make “shake and bake” crystal meth. Named for the ease with which it is prepared, this method of creating methamphetamine is lightweight, compact and quick. It is also extremely dangerous.
In previous incantations, the process for making methamphetamine included heating the ingredients to very high temperatures. The new method doesn’t require any heat at all. Also, to make a viable and profitable batch of crystal meth, the manufacturers would need to buy so many packages of cold remedies containing ephedrine that they would send buyers into a multitude of stores across several cities or state lines to circumvent the federal regulations on how many grams an individual can purchase in a month’s time. “Shake and bake” uses far less ephedrine, so the end user-turned-meth-cooker can purchase it without raising an eyebrow from the store clerk.
So who exactly is making “shake and bake” crystal meth? According to law enforcement, this new form of methamphetamine is being made by drug users from coast to coast at the risk of life and limb at alarming rates.
The Risks of ‘Shake and Bake’ Are Many and Severe
In traditional production laboratories, the risks of making methamphetamine included explosions and fire. In those situations, according to an article in the Huffington Post last year, the people inside the building had a chance to escape the flames. Even so, many were severely burned or killed. This new method poses an even larger risk of life-threatening burns and explosions because of the way in which is mixed. The noxious chemicals and ephedrine tablets used to make crystal meth are poured into a 2-liter soft drink bottle made of plastic. The ingredients are then shaken, rather than cooked, to create a crystalline powder that can be abused in the same way the old crystal meth was used.
Have you ever shaken a new bottle of soda by mistake? When you open the lid, the pressure inside creates a volcano of carbonated foam. In the case of “shake and bake” methamphetamine, the same principle applies. The pressure inside the bottle builds up as the chemical reactions take place. But there is a catch: If any oxygen gets inside the bottle, the contents can explode. This includes the chance that removing the lid too soon, or too quickly, can cause the deadly reaction.
In addition to the risk of death posed by the actual chemical reactions, the leftover materials from “successful” batches are considered toxic waste. Those drug users who are mixing their own crystal meth tend to leave these residues where they lay, where anyone may stumble upon them and expose themselves to the toxicity without even realizing it.
Cost of Shake and Bake Crystal Meth Production
The ingredients and method used to make “shake and bake” crystal meth are so inherently dangerous, and so many individuals are being injured, hospital burn units are being taxed beyond their abilities.
According to NBC News, treatment for the type of severe burns one can expect from these explosions is roughly $6,000 per day. Depending upon the length of stay, the patient may receive $130,000 in treatments, which is considerably greater than the amounts non-meth burn victims’ treatments cost.
In addition to the cost of health care to mostly uninsured methamphetamine manufacturers, there is the cost of the infrastructure to combat the illegal activity and clean the toxic mess that is left behind. According to a report from FOX News, the number of meth labs is increasing across the country, and most of them are using the shake-and-bake method for production.
Treatment Is Available for Crystal Meth Addiction Before It Is Too Late
No matter how involved someone is with the abuse of drugs like crystal meth, or how long they have been using the drug, help is available. Right now, you can start the process to stop the effect of drugs on your life, before this highly dangerous method for producing drugs takes away your chances for survival.
Treatment can be difficult, but it is worth the struggle through withdrawal to find a safe harbor on the other side of this terrible disease. If you are ready to take that first step toward life, please contact us here at Axis right away. We can help you find your way out of addiction and into the rest of your life.