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Nazi Meth: Then and Now

Nazi meth was distributed to German soldiers and likely gave them the chemical boost needed to dominate their victims and the Allied forces until 1945. While the exact number of German troops forced or coerced to take meth in the line of duty will likely never be known, the numbers are almost certainly astounding based on evidence presented in this article. In fact, Nazi meth was so potent and so efficiently manufactured by the Germans that one of the most common versions of meth found on the streets today is called “Nazi Meth.”

When compared to Allied forces, Germany was significantly outmanned and outgunned. (1) However, for most of the first 5 years of WWII the Nazis trounced their enemies despite these deficiencies. One explanation for the seemingly superhuman power of the German army is that troops were regularly provided with a potent form of methamphetamine. In fact, German soldiers, sailors and airmen were doled out hundreds of millions of doses of meth during the war, including ten million doses that were delivered to troops after the rest of Europe had wisely outlawed the substance. (2)

Meth was used widely by the German war machine to help soldiers stay awake, remain alert, increase aggressiveness, lower inhibitions to risk and improve moral. Considering the conditions they were fighting in, it’s no wonder that troops readily adapted to meth use: by D-Day more than 1 in 3 German soldiers had been wounded and overall there was a 50% likelihood of an infantryman being killed or wounded. (1)

Unfortunately, German soldiers were susceptible to addiction to meth and a number of other drugs commonly in use during the war; especially opiates and alcohol. Soldiers were supplied with these substances by family members and friends when the war machine ran low, and when troops came home from battle they brought their addictions with them, rapidly spreading it to the civilian population.

However, it should be noted that Germany is not the only country who engaged in such practices. The United States, Japan, France and the United Kingdom all administered meth or very similar drugs to their troops. But it was the ingenuity of the Germans that has made the term Nazi Meth one that has endured from World War II all the way to today’s War on Drugs: clandestine meth labs in the US are at this very moment using methamphetamine manufacturing processes perfected by the Germans during the war.

Modern Nazi Meth refers to a simplified manufacturing process that uses readily available chemicals and produces extremely potent crystal methamphetamine. However, the substances used in the production of Nazi meth are toxic and produce dangerous byproducts when they react. The primary ingredients used to make Nazi meth are cold medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, lithium stripped from everyday batteries, gaseous ammonia and gasoline additives.

Keeping in mind that this is the same or similar method of manufacture used by German forces to produce meth that caused soldiers to become more aggressive, fearless and violent (3), it’s not surprising that Nazi meth today is also associated with violence (4). While Hitler often incarcerated, confined to institutions or executed soldiers who became addicted or behaved unfavorably while on meth or any other drug, today we often do the same as part of the War on Drugs.

This leads a person to conclude that Nazi Meth hasn’t changed much in the last 70 years: the process is the same, and so are the results.

(1) WWII Statistics Angel Fire

(2) Ulrich, Andreas The Nazi Death Machine – Hitler’s Drugged Soldiers 05/06/2005 Spiegel Online International

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The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More