(WBNG Binghamton) When methamphetamine first surfaced in Broome County during the early 2000s, manufacturing the highly addictive drug required a sometimes complex lab setup, and at least a cursory understanding of chemistry.
Today, cookers have found a way around laws that prohibit them from buying large amounts of products commonly used to cook meth.
"They've moved over into this one-pot method, so now it's a lot of things that can be purchased off the shelf," said Lt. Patrick Garey, of the county's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team. "Any hardware store, or pharmacy, or you know, grocery store."
The one-pot method requires only a handful of cold medicine, a soda bottle and common household chemicals. However, it produces much smaller batches of meth than a typical cook.
Meth isn't just a hazard for drug users, it's dangerous for the entire community, officials say. Manufacturing meth involves hazardous chemicals that can lead to serious explosions, and fires.
"It becomes a public safety issue all the way around, not only for the people who are making it in their apartment or in their house, because again, it's so toxic and volatile," said Capt. Fred Akshar, of the Broome County Sheriff's Office, "But when people are discarding this, the materials that they're using to make methamphetamine creates a public safety issue as well."
Akshar said the public should refrain from picking up bottles containing unknown fluids. He also said the public is the agency's best partner. He asks anyone who suspects drug activity in their area to contact local authorities immediately.
The Broome County Sheriff's Office tip line is (607)778-1911.