The New Meth


In the 2000s, the United States and Mexico started to curb the sale of ephedrine. You may have noticed restrictions in purchasing ephedrine likely in response to increases in methamphetamine use in your area. As a result of those restrictions, illicit chemists developed a new, cleaner version of methamphetamine made from phenyl-2-propanone (P2P). Unlike ephedrine, P2P is used in too many sectors to be regulated, among them racing fuel, tanning, gold mining, perfume, and photography according to reporting from The Atlantic (Quinones, 2021).  When methamphetamine is smuggled into the United States in powder or liquid form, domestic conversion laboratories transform it into crystal methamphetamine. These laboratories do not require a significant amount of equipment, so they can be small in size and thus easily concealed, which presents challenges to law enforcement agencies. Methamphetamine pressed into a pill form intended to resemble ecstasy has also recently emerged, potentially in an effort to make methamphetamine more appealing to people who haven’t tried it before. As with other illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine, methamphetamine is also sometimes laced with fentanyl.