We’ve all heard the old phrase “try to build a better mousetrap” when it comes to improving a product. How about “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”? Surely we all have used that phrase at some point or another. Here’s another one for you, “the only thing constant is change”. That may be the cold hard truth when it comes to drug manufacturing. It’s like you’re “trying to outrun the wind” just to stay one step ahead of the drug labs. The funny thing is that these labs are getting smaller and harder to see. In fact, it’s starting to “shake things up” in the real world.
It’s not so new, but it is getting more common for drug abusers to use the “One Pot” Lab (a.k.a. “Shake & Bake”) method of methamphetamine manufacturing. No, it’s nothing to do with Kraft, but it does go to show that these users are getting more “crafty” with their work trying to hide it from the public. Here’s a question for you: would you know what it was if you saw it? Chances are, you may have already seen it and didn’t register in your mind that it was a miniature drug lab. This situation has gotten to the point that even the National Adopt-a-highway Program is requiring their volunteers to go through training that teaches how to recognize the components of an abandoned mobile meth lab that someone threw away because they were done with it. Even after hours of being disposed of, the components could remain combustive making this a serious public health risk. That should be a wake-up call as scary as it may sound.
The setup allows methamphetamine makers to mix up the ingredients/chemicals in a single 2-liter soda pop bottle and setting it aside, or placing the bottle in a backpack and walking around with it. The movement will literally churn the ingredients and produce methamphetamine anywhere at almost any time, including while inside a vehicle when driving down the road. A dealer can have a product to sell in very little time. This process can make it difficult for police officers and federal agents to find.
It’s almost easier to make the drug than for the authorities to find where it is. Unfortunately, there are websites and videos that show (in great detail) how this method is done, hardware needed, and ingredients to manufacture this dangerous addicting drug. One website that I came across had the courtesy to offer an explicit warning before trying to make the drug like it’s really going to matter. Unfortunately, to a drug abuser, he or she probably won’t care to read the warning. It’s the drug manufacturing know-how that they’re after.
This method is designed to get around the laws that restrict selling of the ingredients needed to make it and officials are claiming the process is even more dangerous because if you make one wrong move, the bottle (along with chemicals) will explode into a large fireball when compared to the previous methamphetamine manufacturing labs. Anyone who uses the ‘shake and bake’ method basically has to mix unstable ingredients into a plastic bottle, but if the cap is removed too quickly or the plastic bottle is perforated, the mixture can be physically hazardous to anyone in close range. It’s just part of the risk they will go through to reach that “high” feeling.
However, if they were able to step outside the box, so to speak, and watch how it affects them, it might be a rude wake-up call to reality. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they say that people who abuse the drug, methamphetamine, in a long-term process may experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and mood disturbances and display violent behavior. They may also show symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations and delusions can occur at random. It can be much worse if consumed by someone who is already on prescription medicine, depending on the dosage.
That’s not the only health hazards one could face if he or she was inducing large amounts of methamphetamine into their bodies, it also raises the risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as HIV or Hepatitis B and C. Studies indicate that HIV causes more injury to neurons and greater cognitive impairment in individuals who are HIV-positive and use methamphetamine than it does in HIV-positive people who do not use the drug. Here’s another statistic that goes back to manufacturing, did you know that up to one-third of all burn patients in hospitals in the top meth-producing states are would-be meth makers.
Let’s talk about what the other effects of methamphetamine usage can do, like threaten whole communities by causing more crime, unemployment, child neglect, or family member abuse to name a few social hinders. One thing that most people worry about is if someone they know or work with is using drugs. “Shake and Bake” can be made in a short time, such as during a lunch break, and consumed later. If you are a business owner or supervisor, this might be to your company’s drug testing program benefit to keep an eye and ear open for job performance or behavior changes. In fact, employers should look for signs of drug use in employees. Some signs of drug use include:
- personality changes
- bloodshot eyes
- personal grooming and hygiene issues
- unusual odors (methamphetamine vapors will percolate out of a person’s body)
- open sores or is constantly scratching
Family members and employers may also need to pay attention to:
- unexplained disappearances
- avoiding friends and colleagues, or a sudden change of friends hanging around with different people
- inconsistent work or losing focus
- increased absenteeism on the job or school
- carelessness, mistakes or errors in judgment
- needless risk taking
- extended lunch periods and early departures
- frequent financial problems
- blaming others for their own shortcomings
- complaints, excuses, and time off for vaguely-defined illnesses or family problems
Methamphetamine is nothing to play around with, both for the user and the person trying to help the user kick the habit. It’s a nasty drug that can take everything away from you, including your life, within a moment’s notice. Anytime addiction is in the mix, it’s a tricky situation. Users can overcome and with the right help, they can beat the habit. To get to that point, the user has to admit he or she has a problem. Next step is to get them some help or counseling. Helping them stay on the clean path is the right thing. Sometimes, it takes a situation or revelation to show the problem at hand. That’s why we, at Rapid Detect recommend drug testing those who fall under suspicion for drug abuse. You can’t afford to take any chances if you are the business owner.
Rapid Detect, INC is here for you weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm CDT at (888) 404-0020 or via email at [email protected] anytime. We offer several drug tests to choose from that will detect methamphetamine usage with lab-like accuracies, such as the iScreen Methamphetamine Drug Test that will screen a urine sample simply by dipping it, the iCassette Drug Screen Single Drug Test Pipette can check using a simple procedure, or if you want to go back up to 90 days prior to testing we could suggest using the HairConfirm Express 7 Panel Test. Any one of these tests will help you determine Methamphetamine use. If you have any questions about these or any other of our products, we invite you to see our website at www.rapiddetect.com anytime.