Methamphetamine (Meth) is also known as "speed, crank, ice or crystal" and it is a powerful stimulant. It can be smoked, snorted, injected or ingested. Its color can vary from white to slightly yellow in powder or crystal form. The key ingredient in Meth is the chemical ephedrine which is usually extracted from cold medications in the clandestine lab.
Methamphetamine Labs in San Diego County
A Meth lab is where the methamphetamine is "cooked." These labs are usually set up in houses, apartments, motels, vehicles and sometimes boats. The process involves the use of restricted chemicals such as iodine, red phosphorous and various solvents and acids.
Clandestine laboratories can be found in any location: from high density residential neighborhoods to sparsely populated rural areas; they can even be found in the remote desert. In recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of Meth labs found in California and an increase in the number of Meth labs in Mexico, just south of the border. Rural areas in the Central Valley are the source of a great percentage of the Meth that is produced in California.
Although there are a different number of procedures used to make Meth, the precursors do not change much. A partial list of precursors is listed below.