American Underworld

Homemade Illegal Drugs

Series 1 - Episode 1 Homemade Illegal Drugs



Clearly inspired by Breaking Bad’s popularity, fearless photojournalist and film-maker Mark Allen Johnson explores America’s burgeoning home-made drugs trade. First he gets access to a scarily efficient Los Angeles crack cocaine operation run along the same lines as any conventional limited company, before meeting a volatile steroids dealer who makes his stock at a lab in his kitchen.

But most terrifying of all, is the young woman cooking up crystal meth on her back porch in Tennessee. As she pours lighter fuel on sudafedrin, (aka pseudoephedrine, a decongestant) and drops lithium strips from inside batteries into the mixture, the noxious fumes threaten to strip the skin off Allen Johnson’s body.


An exploration of America's illegal homemade drug industry, beginning with a look at how crack, crystal meth and steroids are `cooked', distributed and used.