What Is Meth Made Of?
Methamphetamine is closely related to amphetamine but has longer lasting and more toxic effects on the user's system. Meth is a white, odorless powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol. Production of the drug begins with common chemicals, including EPHEDRINE or PSEUDOEPHEDRINE. Ephedrine-containing pills and powders were banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004. However, as of mid-2005, illicit supplies were still available through the Internet. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in cold medicines and asthma drugs.
Methamphetamine is relatively easy to produce in homemade laboratories. Various newspaper accounts note that meth cooks routinely brew small batches of the drug in their home labs using household goods that they purchased legally in stores. Many use recipes they find on the Internet posted by amateur chemists. As such, the strength and toxicity of each batch can vary considerably. By 2005, more and more Americans were expressing their concern over the ease with which these meth ingredients could be purchased. As a result, lawmakers began to push for crackdowns on the sale of ephedrine and greater restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines.