Sept. 1, 2022 – If you’ve ever seen someone talk about “new meth” online, they were probably describing how it explained some aspect of society—encampments, mental illness—that they found distasteful. These references don’t come from a rich diversity of sources, but tend to trace back to a single source: a 2021 Atlanticarticle by Sam Quinones. 

“It was a very sinister drug,” Quinones told EconTalk of “new meth” when promoting his book, from which the Atlantic article was adapted. “You began to speak babbling, what they call ‘word salad’ in psychology. It began to create mental illness as it marched across the country.”

All meth actually has the same chemical makeup. The only difference is the production method, of which there are several. When the broader public thinks of meth, they’re probably thinking of meth derived from pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). “New meth” refers to meth derived from phenyl-2-propanone, more commonly known as P2P. 


[ninja-popup ID=12216]