NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Where there's a will there's a way. Meth addicts and dealers, who have long proven that old adage, have discovered a new way around the federal anti-meth laws limiting large purchases of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine.
The new technique requires little more than a few handfuls of cold pills, a two-liter soda bottle and easily obtained household chemicals, all of which can be carried in a backpack and mixed on the run.
The new formula does away with the clutter of the typical meth labs, but none of the danger. Sgt. Jason Clark of the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control tells the Associated Press "if there is any oxygen at all in the bottle, it has the propensity to make a giant fireball", and since the new method can turn the back seat of a car or bathroom stall into a makeshift drug lab, it can also turn them into instant death chambers.
The Methamphetamine Reduction Act of 2005 helped to drastically cut down on methamphetamine labs; the total number of clandestine lab incidents reported fell from almost 17,400 in 2003 to just 7,347 in 2006, according to Drug Enforcement Administration reports. But the number of reported incidents has begun to rise again and some authorities blame the new, simpler "shake and bake" method.
An Associated Press review of 14 states found that at least 10 of the states reported increases in meth lab seizures or meth related arrests from 2007-2008. It also found that several states, such as Oklahoma and Tennessee, are on pace to double the number of labs busted in 2008.