Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug that is chemically similar to amphetamines, which are stimulant drugs that affect the central nervous system. Methamphetamine is usually produced in clandestine laboratories using a combination of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, some of which are legal, and some are not.
The primary precursor chemicals used in the illegal production of methamphetamine are ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which are found in some over-the-counter medications for colds and flu. Other chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine include anhydrous ammonia, lithium, iodine, and hydrochloric acid.
Illicit methamphetamine production often takes place in clandestine laboratories that are makeshift and highly dangerous. The production process requires specialized equipment and knowledge, and the risk of fire, explosion, and exposure to hazardous chemicals is significant.
Due to its highly addictive and harmful effects, the use and production of methamphetamine is illegal in most countries, and law enforcement agencies work to shut down clandestine laboratories and reduce the availability of the drug on the streets.