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The Drug Defined

What's In Meth

Most of Meth’s key ingredients are toxic and highly flammable.
Although the “recipes” vary, here are the most commonly used ingredients.

  • AcetoneAcetone
    Nail polish remover or paint thinner. Extremely flammable. In the setting of a Meth lab where Meth is being cooked with high heat, acetone is very dangerous.
  • LithiumLithium
    Used in batteries. Lithium seriously burns the skin upon contact. It also reacts violently with water and is highly explosive.
  • TouleneToluene
    Used in brake fluid. Toluene is powerful enough to dissolve rubber.
  • Hydrochloric AcidHydrochloric
    Acid
    Used to make plastic. It can remove rust from steel and is highly corrosive to human skin. In high concentrations, hydrochloric acid will literally eat away human flesh.
  • PseudophedrinePseudoephedrine
    Decongestant found in cold medicine. Large amounts of pseudoephedrine on its own can harm the respiratory and nervous systems, as well as the heart.
  • Red PhosphorusRed
    Phosphorus
    Found on matchboxes, in road flares, and other explosives. Ignites when overheated.
  • Sodium HydroxideSodium
    Hydroxide
    Lye. Can burn the skin or cause blindness. It’s used to dispose of road kill because it turns the dead bodies into a coffee-like liquid.
  • Sulfuric AcidSulfuric
    Acid
    Used in drain or toilet bowl cleaner. Another highly corrosive substance that burns the skin on contact.
  • Anhydrous AmmoniaAnhydrous
    Ammonia
    Found in fertilizer or countertop cleaner. On its own, it has a pungent, suffocating odor; mixing it with other chemicals can release highly toxic gases.

METH LIFESTYLE

Users commonly disregard once-important things like friends, appearance, and living conditions. Homes are often filthy.

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Terms

  • A poisonous substance that affects the central nervous system and damages nervous tissue. Over time, Meth can damage the brain’s dopamine neurons—important for reward, motivation, and learning. Brain Damage

  • Any chemical substance, like methamphetamine, that acts on the central nervous system, changing the way the brain functions.

  • Commonly called an “upper,” it is a substance that causes increased alertness or physical activity. A stimulant like Meth first elevates mood and energy, then leads to rebound depression and anxiety. Comparing Highs

  • A man-made compound created by a chemical process. Methamphetamine is not a naturally occurring substance and is synthesized by combining various toxic chemicals. Home “cooks” prepare Meth in makeshift labs, hotel rooms, trailers, even the back seat of a car. Shopping List

© Meth Project Foundation, Inc., 2014. All rights reserved.