The University of Arizona

Clandestine Labs and Forms of Methamphetamine
Clandestine Drug Labs:
Types of Clandestine Labs

One type of clandestine lab is the “super” lab, which is a large, highly organized lab that can manufacture 10 or more pounds of MA per production cycle.  These labs are mostly found in southern California and Mexico. 

The other types of clandestine labs are known as “mom and pop” or “Beavis and Butthead” labs.  These are smaller scale labs that manufacture only one to four ounces of MA per production cycle.  This amount of drug production is usually just enough for the operators’ and their associates’ use, and for sale to others in order to finance chemicals for their next production cycle. 

The super labs account for up to 80% of all MA produced.  However, the mom and pop labs have far more explosions, fires, uncontrolled hazardous waste dumping, and child endangerment.  This is because the smaller labs are run by less-skilled cooks with more primitive equipment and facilities.  Furthermore, small labs usually have lab cooks who are parents and MA users themselves, making them more likely to neglect children.[1]



  • (1) Scott MS. Clandestine Drug Labs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice; 2002 Mar 19. Report No.: 16.



  • ="Mom
    Mom and Pop Lab
  • ="Super
    Super Lab