Reports have surfaced that drug users across the United States have begun to make “shake and bake” meth. Aptly named for the ease in which it is prepared, this means of making the drug is easy and quick, but also extremely hazardous.
Using the usual method, the process for meth includes “cooking” the ingredients at extremely high temperatures. The “shake and bake” process doesn’t require that heat is used, however.
Also, to create a valuable batch of meth the traditional way, the makers would need to buy many packages of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine. People would have to visit multiple stores to evade the federal regulations on how many products an individual may buy. The “shake and bake” method uses significantly less pseudoephedrine, so a meth producer can purchase it without drawing much attention to themselves.
The Risks of “Shake and Bake”
In conventional production labs, the risks of producing meth include explosion and fire. However, this new method poses an even higher risk of life-threatening fires and burns due to the way that it is prepared. Toxic chemicals and pseudoephedrine are put into a two-liter plastic soda bottle. The ingredients are then shaken instead of cooked, which results in a crystalline powder that can be used in the same way as traditional meth.
Anyone who has ever shaken or dropped a bottle containing a carbonated beverage by mistake would know that when its opened, the pressure inside causes an explosion of foam. Similar physics applies to “shake and bake” meth. Pressure inside the bottle accumulates, and the chemical reactions occur, and highly dangerous effects are possible.
If oxygen enters the bottle, the contents can explode. This can occur if the lid is removed too fast or the plastic is perforated, and it can cause a reaction that could be deadly to those near it.
In addition to the possibility of egregious injury or death caused by the chemical reactions, the residual materials from successful meth batches are considered to be poisonous. Rather than disposing of them, drug users often leave these toxic substances where anyone, including children, can be exposed to them accidentally.
The Ultimate Cost of Using Shake and Bake Meth
The ingredients and methods employed to produce shake and bake meth are incredibly hazardous, and many people have been injured. According to an NBC News report, medical treatment for severe burns that an individual can sustain from one of these explosions is upwards of $6,000 each day. Depending on the length of the stay, a person may incur $130,000 in treatments, which is much more than the amount that other burn victims’ treatments cost.
From the report:
“It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment—a burden so costly that it’s contributing to the closure of some burn units.”
In addition to the high cost of medical care related to uninsured meth makers, there is the cost of combatting the illegal activity and removing the noxious mess that is leftover. According to reports, meth labs are increasingly popping up in the U.S., and many makers are opting to shake and bake.
Burn experts report that the annual cost to taxpayers is at least into the tens of millions of dollars. However, it is not possible to determine a precise number due to so many meth users and makers being deceptive about the circumstances that caused their injuries.
Symptoms of Meth Use
Regardless of the method employed, meth abusers may exhibit many different physical and behavioral symptoms. The most common signs of meth use include the following:
- Facial tics and twitching
- Jerky movements
- Skin sores
- Rapid eye movement
- Appetite suppression
- Weight loss
- Burns on lips or fingers
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Rotting teeth
Treatment Is Available for Meth Abuse and Addiction
No matter the extent to which a person has been using meth, help is available. You or your loved one can stop the impact of meth on your life, even if you have not hit “rock bottom.” It’s critical to get treatment before circumstances get worse and potentially life-threatening.
Just Believe Recovery is a highly-specialized treatment facility dedicated to helping those we treat foster healthier, more fulfilling lives. Treatment can be challenging, but it is well worth the effort to ensure that you or your loved one are healthy, safe, and on the right path after detox.
We are dedicated to providing our clients with the education, tools, and support they need to recover and maintain long-lasting sobriety. If you or your loved one are prepared to take the first step in reclaiming your life, contact us as soon as possible. We can help you break free from the vicious cycle of addiction and steer you toward a better life!