Streets in some cities are being inundated with a new form of candy flavored methamphetamine — an illegal but popular drug among the teen population — dubbed “strawberry quick” because it’s made with packets of powdered strawberry and other flavored drink mix added during the cooking process in an effort to make it taste better and to entice new users to try it.
Drug dealers have stooped to new lows coaxing children, teenagers and first time users with sugar-coated methamphetamine and other addicting drugs in an effort to get them hooked. Other flavors reportedly being used include blueberry, orange and chocolate. Sometimes it’s in the form of real candy such as lollipops or mixed with liquid.
So far its affected California, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Minnesota.
Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant drug (a schedule II stimulant, meaning it has a high potential for abuse) that activates certain systems in the brain and is harmful to the central nervous system. It can be injected, snorted, smoked or ingested orally.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), short-term effects of meth abuse may include:
- Increased attention and decreased fatigue
- increased activity and wakefulness
- decreased appetite
- euphoria and rush
- increased respiration
- rapid/irregular heartbeat
Long term affects may include:
- psychosis (including paranoia, hallucinations and repetitive motor activity)
- changes in brain structure and function
- memory loss
- aggressive or violent behavior
- mood disturbances
- severe dental problems
- weight loss
More information about meth can be found on the NIDA site, and from the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Federal law makers are taking measures to fight this growing threat. U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced the “Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act” to increase federal criminal penalties for drug dealers who entice children with candy-flavored methamphetamine and other flavored drugs.
“This bill will send a strong and clear message to drug dealers – if you target our children by peddling candy-flavored drugs, there will be a heavy price to pay,” Senator Feinstein said.
“Research has shown time and again that if you can keep a child drug-free until they turn 20, chances are very slim that they will ever try or become addicted. This makes it all the more important that we put an end to the practice of purposely altering illegal drugs to make them more appealing to young people.” Senator Grassley said.
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