In order to circumvent restrictions on purchasing key ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine, a new process of synthesizing the narcotic has become more common that poses dangers to local residents.
The process, sometimes referred to as “shake and bake” or “one pot” meth, requires only a soda bottle to manufacture the methamphetamine. Manufacturers of the substance can use smaller amounts of the key ingredients needed to produce meth by using the bottle to help synthesize them together. The remnants of this type of production pose hazards for those who might come across them.
Local law enforcement officials are urging residents to not handle any bottle that they might come across that contains a white powdery residue, a white or brown sludge, or that otherwise looks suspicious. The bottle may be highly volatile and may explode if shaken, when the seal is broken, or when exposed to the right temperature. Anyone who comes across such a bottle should contact their local law department, who can neutralize and dispose of the bottle safely.
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The “shake and bake” or “one pot” method of producing meth requires only a few cold pills, which are mixed with common – but toxic – household ingredients and produces enough meth for a user to get a few hits. Just as the process requires fewer ingredients, it also requires less space, and has mobilized the more traditional on-site makeshift meth lab. When the user has finished with the bottle, they simply toss it out their car window.
As a result, the most common place that such bottles have been found is in roadside ditches, including those along back roads and major highways. Anyone cleaning trash out of ditches, whether in their own front yard or as part of a community service project, is urged to exercise extreme caution should they come across such a bottle. Just as larger makeshift meth labs have been known to be highly explosive, so too are the bottles used to make meth in smaller quantities. One official explained that “holding one of those bottles is like holding a flame thrower in your hands – except that you don’t know what might set it off.”
While the mobilization process has led to the majority of the bottles being found in ditches, residents should be aware that the process actually means that the bottles might be found anywhere. Again, anyone coming across a two liter bottle, or other comparably sized container, that has any suspicious residue or substance inside should exercise caution, leave the bottle alone, and contact their local law enforcement agency.
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