Methamphetamine continues to be a major drug threat in Louisiana and law enforcement reporting indicates it is replacing crack cocaine as the primary drug threat in some areas because of its availability, low cost and long lasting effects, according to a 2009 publication from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Metro Narcotics Capt. Hank Smith said its low cost because those who make methamphetamine use a method known as “shake and bake” or one-pot method, reported to be the most efficient type of production.
“It’s kind of like a reverse common sense,” Smith said. “We are seeing more methamphetamine being made because it is becoming easier for criminals to make.”
By using the shake and bake method, cooks can make methamphetamine in one sealed container that is generally flipped upside-down to cause the reaction needed to turn several ingredients into the drug.
This method generally produces meth in a smaller quantity, but Smith said the process is still dangerous. The chemical reaction going on inside the container, which can be anything from a fuel can to a soda bottle, causes an extremely high amount of pressure to build up within the container after being shaken; this method can cause a large explosion.
Three men died in a western Ouachita Parish fire last March. An investigation revealed the trio were creating suspected methamphetamine inside the residence and there was an explosion.
The state of Louisiana reported 107 methamphetamine laboratory incidents in 2010, an increase of 27 from 2009, according to statistics from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. However, those statistics do not indicate which methods were being used at the time of the reported incident.
Another method for producing meth is called the “Nazi Method,” which is similar to the method reportedly used by the Germans to make meth during World War II. This method uses anhydrous ammonia as a key ingredient in the production of meth.
However, the shake and bake method is fast and portable — so portable in fact that some people have been arrested making methamphetamine in their vehicle, Smith said.