Police think this is a relatively new innovation, but it's spreading quickly.
TULSA, Okla. — This is the new formula for methamphetamine: a two-liter soda bottle, a few handfuls of cold pills and some noxious chemicals. Shake the bottle and the volatile reaction produces one of the world's most addictive drugs.
Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab – with filthy containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids and hundreds of pills. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions and was so hard to conceal that dealers often "cooked" their drugs in rural areas.
But now drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The "shake-and-bake" approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine – an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation to restrict large purchases of some cold medication.
This story has some pretty horrifying implications if you game it through.