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Almost Unbelievable: The Ingredients Contained in Crystal Meth

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 18, 2007
Reading through the list of ingredients that make up crystal meth seems more like the inventory of a toxic waste dump than something people would willingly put into their bodies. As you read through the list, it's difficult not to wonder who in their right mind would have tried putting all of these things together and then ingesting them into their body.

But meth users aren't in their right mind. The drug, which is quickly reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, causes people to have similar symptoms to that of schizophrenics. While it induces a false sense of euphoria for the new user, over time, meth destroys the body's ability to create feelings of happiness and well-being, leaving them in a perpetual state of dark depression, continuously trying anything to achieve some semblance of pleasure with even more meth.

Perhaps the fact that insanity is a result of meth use will help to explain how crystal meth has evolved to include this list of toxic and potentially deadly ingredients.

Matches

The red phosphorous contained in the heads of matches, combined with iodine, yields a highly controlled substance called Hydriodic Acid, an elemental ingredient in methamphetamines. There's a reason that Hydriodic Acid is a controlled substance. This acid, strong enough to corrode steel, causes congenital malformation in fetuses and burns to human skin. It's also extremely destructive the mucus membranes, the exact channel through which users get meth into their bodies.

Iodine

Iodine in and of itself is a harmful toxin when ingested in large amounts that can adversely affect the function of the thyroid. It takes nearly 4 bottles of iodine to produce 2 to 3 grams of methamphetamine.

Drano

You may have used Drano to corrode away hair and scum in your water pipes, but meth addicts use Drano as a way to get high. The warning on Drano's product label warning says it all:

DANGER: MAY BURN EYES AND SKIN ON CONTACT. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. Avoid contact with body and clothing. TOXIC GAS MAY FORM IF MIXED WITH OTHER CHEMICALS. If gases are released, leave immediately and ventilate area. FIRST AID: Give Immediately: EYES AND SKIN: Flush with water for 20 minutes. Remove affected clothing. IF SWALLOWED: Rinse mouth and drink a glass of water or milk. Do not induce vomiting. THEN SEEK MEDICAL AID.

Brake Fluid

It's true; brake fluid will decompose the paint right off your car and eat through chrome. Sure it can ignite in a fireball if it comes into contact with other household chemicals. But all of this is a small price to pay in the mind of the meth user who willingly puts brake fluid into their body as part of the toxic methamphetamine cocktail.

Getting grossed out yet? We're not even halfway finished.

Ephedrine

You may have noticed that ephedrine based products like Sudaphed are now kept under lock and key at the pharmacy. That's because meth makers use boxes and boxes of ephedrine based cold medicine to cook meth. In addition to clearing the sinuses, ephedrine has the side effect of releasing dopamine in the brain, which evokes a pleasure sensation similar to that felt when eating food or having sex. While this may sound great in theory, excessively simulating the release of dopamine artificially will eventually cause a person to lose the ability to create sensations of pleasure naturally.

Lighter Fluid, Butane

Lighter fluid is used during the cooking of meth. Perhaps you're beginning to understand why meth labs so frequently burst into flames.

Hydrochloric acid

This highly corrosive acid is found naturally within the intestines as an ingredient in human digestive fluid. If spilled on skin, this acid will literally each away chunks of human flesh. In the industrial world, hydrochloric acid is used in leather processing and to remove iron-oxide and rust from steel. Meth users choose to purposefully ingest this corrosive acid into their bodies.

Sodium hydroxide

Most of the time sodium hydroxide is used in creating biodiesel or for aluminum etching. It's also used by city workers who are tasked with disposing of road kill. Douse the carcass with sodium hydroxide and the remains become little more than a coffee-like liquid.

Ether

This powerful and highly flammable gas is used as an anesthetic agent in third world countries. After inhaling ether, once called "sweet vitriol" for its hypnotic effects, patients can manage through complete surgical procedures without a care in the world.

Anhydrous Ammonia

The term "anhydrous" means without water. Because this powerful ammonia lacks water, it will seek it out wherever it can find it, eating through whatever is in its path including human flesh. This highly destructive substance is used industrially as a commercial refrigerant and in chemical fertilizer.

Different meth recipes call for different ingredients, all just as disgusting. Some other materials used in cooking meth are battery acid, paint thinner, gasoline, and kerosene. If you know someone who is into meth, do them favor and pass this article along. Users may only understand meth to be something that makes them feel uninhibited, satisfied, and sexually free. They may not know that the reason their body is reacting this way is because it is literally being poisoned and that meth will cause permanent symptoms of insanity with continued use.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is a writer for the Mark Houston Recovery Center, a truly unique Houston Texas based drug and alcohol recovery center for men who wish to create a permanent life of sobriety and abundance.
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