There are numerous types of illicit drugs that can be manufactured by persons
outside of a chemistry lab. They include methamphetamine, LSD, fentanyl, GHB,
aesthesia (MDMA), and other drugs. The manufacturing methods vary even among
persons manufacturing the same exact drug. Methamphetamine is the most commonly
manufactured illegal drug. Approximately 95% of the illicit drug labs seized
in California over the last 10 years were methamphetamine labs. There are
currently four common methods to manufacture methamphetamine.
The manufacturing of LSD is a complicated process that requires sophisticated
chemical apparatus. The average person is not going to casually observe someone
making LSD. The average person does have a chance of observing someone manufacturing
methamphetamine. Methamphetamine labs can range from ones using highly specialized
chemical apparatus to one where kitchen pots and pans, canning jars and other
common household items are employed in the manufacturing process.
Because of the varied types of methamphetamine labs, an explanation of exactly
what to look for could consume volumes of pages. The easiest way for someone
to tell if what they have observed is an illicit drug lab is to look for the
The mixing of unusual chemicals in a house, garage or barn by persons
not involved in the chemical industry.
Late night secretive activity in a rural/farm area.
The possession of chemical glassware by someone not involved in the chemical
Possession of unusual chemicals, such as large quantities of MEK, Coleman
Fuel7, Toluene, Acetone or cold/allergy medications.
Now That You Think You've Discovered A Lab, Who Do You Call?
If you suspect that someone is illegally manufacturing drugs you should try
to identify as many chemicals as possible, without placing yourself in danger,
and call your local narcotics unit. The narcotics units are part of your local
police or sheriff's department or can be contacted through them. There are
several photos of drug labs on this web site. Please look at them for your
personal knowledge, but remember that a lab can be made to look like ordinary
kitchen cooking items.