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Home-cooked meth is apparently on the rise in American cities, and the ubiquity of a certain AMC drama is not to blame — not nearly.

The Associated Press just released a big investigation that says police meth seizures in urban areas increased to a disturbing degree this year, with some cities on track for almost three times as many methamphetamine lab seizures as in 2009. Gangs are more involved in production than distribution than ever, and it's not the Walter Whites of the world to blame — it's the Jesse Pinkmans, as it were: cooking methods are way easier now. 

Basically, you don't have to be a former chemistry teacher to make the drug anymore, nor do you have to haul a camper out to the desert — "you don't have to be in rural country," a DEA agent tells the AP. There are Mexican drug lords making loads of meth in big labs and shipping it up here, sure, but so-called shake-and-bake labs allow amateurs to make meth "in backpacks and gym bags" now. The home cook bug, it appears, has seriously caught on

As laws limited the availability of pseudoephedrine, meth-makers adjusted with a faster process that creates smaller batches simply by combining ingredients — mixing cold pills with toxic substances such as battery acid or drain cleaner — in 2-liter soda bottles. Shake-and-bake meth can be made quickly with little odor in a home, apartment, hotel, even a car.

Don't go getting any ideas. Meth is still super flammable and will explode in your bedroom. You can go back to binging on Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix, though. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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