Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New color, same old meth

In the last two months or so, police have started seeing a new trend in drugs in Kansas City: blue meth. It had shown up at a few other spots around the country, but we've only recently been recovering it around here. We haven't seen a huge amount, but it was enough that I wanted to tell you about it so you know to call police if you see something like it.

Our undercover units have encountered it a few times, and our Shoal Creek Patrol Division has made four arrests in the last three weeks in which blue meth was recovered. We do know that it is not chemically different than regular methamphetamine. Our crime lab has tested all of it and has determined the active ingredients remain the same, and the blue version is no more potent than the regular meth our officers have recovered. (As an aside - almost all the meth we've recovered lately has been relatively strong, thus presenting even greater risks than meth normally does.)  The color could be coming from something as simple as food coloring. Unfortunately, we don't know where the blue meth is coming from.

Our Drug Enforcement Unit has several theories about why some meth manufacturers are making it blue. One is that the field test police use to determine whether a substance is methamphetamine is blue, and perhaps criminals are making the meth the same color to make the test harder to read. But the tests continue to work just as well on the blue meth as they do on any other, and besides, all drugs that are field tested are later re-tested for confirmation in our crime lab. Another theory is that the blue could be the mark of the manufacturer, like how ecstasy makers stamp pills with pictures to indicate where they came from or that they're "high quality." Still another hypothesis is that the manufacturers are simply copying the TV show on AMC called "Breaking Bad," which features a character who makes meth and dyes it blue.

Whatever the reason, people in Kansas City are making, using and selling blue meth. It is not more potent or chemically different than the regular kind, but it is just as dangerous. If you suspect meth use, distribution or manufacturing, call police.

Send comments to