New Meth Recipe Really Explosive

'Shake and bake' method filling hospitals with burn victims

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 23, 2012 11:43 AM CST

(Newser) – A simple and dangerous new method of making meth is filling hospital burn units around the United States with expensive and usually uninsured victims, reports the AP. Making meth has always been a risky job, traditionally requiring bathtubs or sheds and large spaces. But the new technique, sometimes called a "one pot" method, requires just a 2-liter soda bottle, putting the highly-unstable chemicals right in the brewer's hands. "You're holding a flame-thrower in your hands," says one law enforcement official.

As the "shake and bake" method also uses less pseudoephedrine than old recipes, yields usable drugs in minutes, and is much easier to conceal and carry, it has become the production method of choice, and about 80% of meth labs busted by the DEA in 2010 used the technique. Exact numbers are hard to judge because few burn victims admit they were making meth. "They'll say they were working on the carburetor at 2 or 3 in the morning and things blew up," said one doctor. "So we don't know for sure, but 25% to 35% of our patients are meth-positive when we check them."

This photo provided Jan. 19, 2012, by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force shows shows the interior of a home in Clarksville, Tenn., damaged by a shake-and-bake meth lab explosion in December, 2011.
This photo provided Jan. 19, 2012, by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force shows shows the interior of a home in Clarksville, Tenn., damaged by a shake-and-bake meth lab explosion in December, 2011.   (AP Photo/Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, Jesse Reynolds)
This photo provided Jan. 10, 2012, by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department shows shake-and-bake meth ingredients  found at house that burned from a meth lab explosion Jan. 29, 2010, in Union, Mo.
This photo provided Jan. 10, 2012, by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department shows shake-and-bake meth ingredients found at house that burned from a meth lab explosion Jan. 29, 2010, in Union, Mo.   (AP Photo/Franklin County Sheriff’s Department)
This dashboard police video photo provided Jan. 17, 2012, by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force shows what authorities say is a mobile shake-and-bake meth lab vehicle burning in August, 2011, in Clarksville, Tenn.
This dashboard police video photo provided Jan. 17, 2012, by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force shows what authorities say is a mobile shake-and-bake meth lab vehicle burning in August, 2011, in...   (AP Photo/Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force)
This photo provided Jan. 10, 2012, by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department shows firefighters battling a blaze from a shake-and-bake meth lab explosion Jan. 29, 2010, at a house in Union, Mo.
This photo provided Jan. 10, 2012, by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department shows firefighters battling a blaze from a shake-and-bake meth lab explosion Jan. 29, 2010, at a house in Union, Mo.   (AP Photo/Franklin County Sheriff’s Department)
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