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."