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How To Make Drugs: Recipe for Homebrewed Opiates

how-to-make-drugsScientist Dr. John Dueber and his research team from the University of California, Berkeley discovered a recipe for homebrewed opiates, involving a simple product like yeast!  This could backfire if knowledge of how to manufacture the illegal drug is obtained by the wrong individual, who could then mass produce the substance, especially during this critical peak of the heroin epidemic occuring in our nation.

How to Make Drugs

Instead of having to go the traditional route by directly extracting from the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum, for the manufacturing of opiates, now production is as simple as a home brew.

The discovery began when Dueber and his research team separated an important enzyme from sugar beets, transformed the gene by making it more effective, and turned it into yeast.  Afterward, they added some foreign DNA, which led to the yeast creating opioids.  Dueber stated, “It’s now a matter of linking (the steps) together and scaling up the process.”  Initially, they were surprised to have found a recipe for opiates.  However, according to Reuters further research may progress to the point where, “a glass of yeast culture is grown with sugar on a windowsill.”

How Production Works

Dueber explained the process he and his research team took when discovering the recipe for homebrewed opiates in detail: “What you really want to do from a fermentation perspective is to be able to feed the yeast glucose, which is a cheap sugar source, and have the yeast do all the chemical steps required downstream to make your target therapeutic drug.  With our study, all the steps have been described, and it’s now a matter of linking them together and scaling up the process.  It’s not a trivial challenge, but it’s doable.”

Dangers of Mass-Manufacturing of Opiates

With new discoveries like this recipe for homemade opiates, there comes great concern about it getting into the wrong hands.  “We’re likely looking at a timeline of a couple of years, not a decade or more, when sugar-fed yeast could reliably produce a controlled substance.  The time is now to think about policies to address this area of research,” cautioned Deuber.  “The field is moving surprisingly fast, and we need to be out in front so that we can mitigate the potential for abuse.”  Deuber also added, “An additional concern is that once the knowledge of how to create an opiate-producing strain is out there, anyone trained in basic molecular biology could theoretically build it.”  This is why information about how to manufacture drugs should be regulated and restricted.

It goes without saying that having such easy access to recipes detailing how to make drugs like opiates can prove disastrous if the information is given to people who intend to misuse it.  In this particular case, it may be necessary to restrict the specific strains of yeast to research purposes only, in order to prevent the mass-production and sale of opiates in the nation.  The illegal black market for drug sales is already a tyrant in society.  The last thing anyone wants is to provide dealers with the resources to profitfrom the manufacture and sale of a home made opiate.

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