METH: THE WORLDS MOST DANGEROUS DRUG PART 3 OF 3
-Production and Distribution-
Until the early 1990s, methamphetamine for the US market was made mostly in labs run by drug traffickers in Mexico and California. Since then, authorities have discovered increasing numbers of small-scale methamphetamine labs all over the United States, mostly in rural, suburban, or low-income areas. Indiana state police found 1,260 labs in 2003, compared to just 6 in 1995, although this may be a result of increased police activity. Recently, mobile and motel-based methamphetamine labs have caught the attention of both the US news media and the police.
These labs can cause explosions and fires, and expose the public to hazardous chemicals. Those who manufacture methamphetamine are often harmed by toxic gases (Indeed, the production of meth is considered environmentally destructive by some). Many police departments have specialized task forces with training to respond to cases of methamphetamine production. The National Drug Threat Assessment 2006, produced by the Department of Justice, found "decreased domestic methamphetamine production in both small and large-scale laboratories", but also that "decreases in domestic methamphetamine production have been offset by increased production in Mexico." They concluded that "methamphetamine availability is not likely to decline in the near term."
Methamphetamine is distributed by prison gangs, motorcycle gangs, street gangs, traditional organized crime operations, and impromptu small networks. In the U.S. illicit methamphetamine comes in a variety of forms, at an average price of $150 per gram for pure substance. Most commonly it is found as a colorless crystalline solid. Impurities may result in a brownish or tan color. Colourful flavored pills containing methamphetamine and caffeine are known as yaa baa (Thai for "crazy medicine").