The manufacturing of street drugs in private homes isn’t a new concept, but it is just as risky today as it ever has been. Illegal drugs have been made in clandestine labs for decades as a way for the maker to bring in money or to support a drug habit. Methamphetamine is available by prescription, but this controlled substance can be cooked in a home lab and made into powder and sold on the street as a potent drug. Other amphetamine-type stimulants have also commonly been made in makeshift labs, as well as the rave drug, GHB, LSD and other strong hallucinogens. Many illegal drugs that end up being sold to kids and addicts on the street come from these homemade labs throughout the world.
The homemade drug manufacturer
Sometimes it is an ex-employee from a pharmaceutical company with the expertise on drugs that attempts to make them on their own. Other times it is a group of individuals that have researched how to best make certain drugs. Countless websites instruct anyone who cares on how to make certain street drugs. Often the ingredients are over-the-counter medicines or household chemicals. If it the ingredients aren’t readily available, some home manufacturers will find a way to order supplies or get ingredients on the black market.
Dangers of homemade drugs to the drug user
Besides the obvious problems with all street drugs, such as addiction, toxicity, brain damage, organ damage, and possible death, homemade street drugs have their own added problems. One of the most dangerous risks with homemade drugs is that each batch can be made differently, with changes in ingredients and measurements. With no standard of dosage, customers will often end up dying from overdose before other buyers and the seller realize the strength of a very powerful batch.
It is estimated that more than 50% of the time, the drug buyer is not getting the substance that they were told they were getting from a home-based lab. Makers will sometimes substitute a cheaper ingredient, or one more readily available, without the buyer knowing. And there are other things the home manufacturer won’t disclose either, such as the way the drugs have been handled and what tainted substances have come in contact with them. It could be that the drug maker used infected substances to cut and make the drugs, thereby passing along diseases such as hepatitis or maybe even AIDS.
Dangers to the public
Home-based drug labs are a threat to the general public at times also. These chemicals are often very unstable, which can lead to explosions or toxic fumes that threaten nearby residents. Because of the risks a homemade manufacturer faces, they may take drastic measures to protect their lab. Violence and shootings are commonly associated with clandestine labs.
Authorities are well-aware of the dangers associated with home drug labs and are working to find them throughout the country. The task may be daunting, but many lives will be saved by shutting down these drug labs.