Chemistry Hints

1. Before beginning any preparation, read carefully the entire method and also obtain a clear idea of the theory as well as the entire practice of the operation. Know the reason for every step in the process.

2. Read any other references that can be found on the entire process, or even better, read references on the individual steps.

3. Work on a definite plan, never omitting anything for the sake of speed, cost or ease. These formulas are designed by experts with decades of schooling. They do everything for good reason; if a step was unnecessary, they would not take the time to do it.

4. Procure suitable and sufficient apparatus. This applies especially to the use of vessels appropriate to the quantities to be used.

5. Clean thoroughly and, if necessary, dry all apparatus before use. (If a formula calls for any dry or anhydrous chemicals, solvents, reagents, etc., then even the humidity in the air should be kept out of the reaction.) Scrub stubborn residue with acetone and a bristle brush, then use soapy water, and rinse thoroughly with water.

6. Fit apparatus together carefully and compactly, paying particular attention to the clamping that holds the apparatus steady and to the fitting and boring of corks and stoppers.

7. Adhere to the instructions given with regard to definite times, temperature and weights.

8. Develop a habit of observation; notice all changes and remember or record them. This may later tell you what you are doing wrong if the reaction fails.

9. Take and test samples whenever advised or convenient to do so.

10. Remember that the criterion of practical work is the yield of pure substance obtained, and if this differs by more than 10% from the yield stated, seek the cause of this difference, and then repeat the process.

11. Test a sample of the product's properties and characteristics (melting point, boiling point, weight). Cocaine and most of the other drugs will have specific tests that should be performed also to determine purity and potency.

12. Cost of the preparation (see apparatus section). Do get a good idea on the cost of a particular formula, make a list of chemicals and apparatus necessary, then call a supply company (see suppliers section) and get prices of the items. As a general rule, don't start something you cannot afford to finish.

13. Keep bench and work area clean and uncluttered. When you are finished using a chemical, put it back into storage and even if you are not finished with it, seal it back up with the cap or stopper. A clean work place makes things much faster, easier and safer.

14. Special Note: Never, under any circumstances attempt to make any drug using any of the formulas from this book. Find the reference given in a library and copy the said formula from the Journal only by a copy machine. The publisher and myself are human and may have made an error in spelling, printing, etc. Any small error may make the difference between drugs and poisons. If you cannot get to a decent library call or write one and for a small fee they will send you copies of the desired section of the Journal.

Continue reading here: Reductions

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