Photo Gallery Crystal Meth's German Roots Crystal meth has become famous from television as well as the way it has ravaged numerous communities across the world. But few know that the drug can trace its origins back to Germany. 30.05.2013, 11.30 Uhr Zur Merkliste hinzufügen Link kopieren E-Mail Messenger WhatsApp Link kopieren 1 / 5 Crystal meth's German uncle: The German company Temmler Werke launched its "Pervitin" form of methamphetamine on the market in 1938. "Alertness aid," read the packaging, to be taken "to maintain wakefulness." But "only from time to time" came the caveat, followed by a large exclamation point. 2 / 5 High-ranking German army physiologist Otto Ranke saw in Pervitin a true miracle drug that could keep tired pilots and soldiers alert. Beginning in 1939, the Wehrmacht, Germany's World War II army, distributed millions of the tablets to soldiers on the front, who soon dubbed the stimulant "Panzerschokolade" ("tank chocolate"). Foto: Z1006 Matthias Hiekel/ dpa 3 / 5 Pervitin remained easy to obtain even after the war, and doctors didn't hesitate to prescribe it before it was eventually banned in Germany. The drug started gaining popularity again after Wisconsin-based chemist Steve Preisler, aka "Uncle Fester," published a book presenting six different ways to make crystal meth. 4 / 5 One of the main ingrediants used in making crystal meth is pseudoephedrine, which can be found in many over-the-counter medicines. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), around 11,000 meth labs were discovered in the country in 2010, compared to 7,530 in 2009. Foto: Sue Ogrocki/ AP 5 / 5 Meth use is on the rise in Germany, as well. According to the latest official reports, the country saw more first-time users in 2012 than ever before. In fact, the number of known cases skyrocketed from 1,693 to 2,556 within a single year. The United Nations estimates there are around 24 million users globally.