There have been e-mails circulating on the internet regarding flavored crystal meth products being sold to children. One such example is, "New drug in Schools...Please pass this on to your friends, neighbors, grandchildren, schools, clubs, etc. This is a new drug known as 'strawberry quick ' and is the cause of a very scary scenario in the schools right now that we all need to be aware of. This is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks (the candy that sizzles and 'pops' in your mouth). It also smells like strawberry and it is being handed out to kids in school yards. They are calling it strawberry meth or strawberry quick. Kids are ingesting this thinking that it is candy and being rushed off to the hospital in dire condition. It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange. Please instruct your children not to accept candy from strangers and even not to accept candy that looks like this from a friend (who may have been given it and believed it is candy) and to take any that they may have to a teacher, principal, etc. immediately."
But just how legitimate these claims are is in question. According to Snopes.com
, it is partially true in that "Some drug dealers sell colored crystal methamphetamine
that coincidentally resembles "Pop Rocks" or other forms of candy" but go on to say that the claim that "Some dealers sell crystal methamphetamine that has been flavored in order to make it more appealing to children" is False.
In recent news, the Vancouver Courier
states, "Detective Jim Fisher, Vancouver Police Department Drug/Gang Section Operational Intelligence Coordinator, said the flavoured crystal meth advisory has circulated online since January 2007, but there appears to be no truth to it. The drug section has not recovered or been made aware of any methamphetamine flavoured with anything resembling Strawberry Quik.
"We've done some research on it because [the question] comes up fairly frequently for us," he said.
Although methamphetamine can have a purplish hue if it was manufactured using red phosphorus, it's a naturally occurring colour and is not added by dealers for appeal, he added.
Health Canada drug analysis labs, which test drug seizures, have confirmed they have never had any such sample submitted to them for analysis, according to Fisher.
The origin of the hoax hasn't been established, but it may be that an original warning gets misinterpreted as it's passed along. "It could have been something where people are saying, 'Hey, this is being said. It doesn't exist, but be careful,' and then it gets morphed into, 'This exists and be careful.'"
And according to the DEA
, "Although flavored “hard” drugs (notably “strawberry meth”) have received extensive press in the mass media, to date very few such exhibits have been submitted to the DEA Laboratories."
However, "The DEA Western Laboratory (San Francisco, California) recently received an exhibit consisting of 13 tied, clear plastic bags containing pink, off-white, and white powders, all with a generic, sweet, fruity odor, purported strawberry, lemon, and coconut flavored cocaines
. To date, the various exhibits submitted in this case are the first examples of “flavored cocaine” seen at the Western Laboratory.
Bottom line, according to the Vancouver Courier article, is "There's no harm in warning [kids about drugs]. But if they [parents] feel they need to warn them about methamphetamine, the truth is the most common way it's being distributed right now is as a portion of ecstasy. Most buyers aren't aware that the majority of pills police have seized and analyzed contain another drug besides MDMA [ecstasy]
, and the majority of the pills contain a significant amount of meth. Other drugs found in ecstasy pills include ketamine
, cocaine and ephedrine