Teens Use Candy to Hide Drug and Alcohol Use
By Matt Gonzales
Every year, it seems more and more teens use drugs and alcohol.
In 2012, nearly 75 percent of teens had consumed alcohol by the end of high school. Underage drinkers now account for more than 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.
Parents and teachers try to keep a close eye on teens to prevent substance use but often are unsuccessful. Teens go to great lengths to find new ways to hide drug and alcohol use.
In the past, adolescents have hidden drugs in pens, lipstick, socks, game consoles and even toilet tanks. A new trend involves stashing drugs in candy wrappers and infusing alcohol in the candy itself.
Masking Drug Use
Many kids do whatever it takes to experience a high, including storing drugs in Tootsie Roll, gum or lollipop wrappers, or even bags of candy. After inserting the drug, they glue the wrapper back together as if it hasn’t been opened. It is a discreet yet effective move that swarms of teens get away with every day.
In early April 2016, a California middle-schooler was caught sniffing MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy or molly, from a Smarties candy wrapper. In February 2016, Oklahoma deputies found THC-laced candy bars in a teen’s possession. This is happening all over the country.
“I mean, who would have thought that what looks to be candy would be drugs?” California parent Melissa Coviello told the New York Daily News.
Teens don’t just hide drugs in wrappers. Some infuse drugs into candy. One example is “weed candy,” marijuana cooked into hard candy. This has been a problem for states that have legalized marijuana, authorities say.
“It’s gotten to be more sophisticated, more hidden,” Nancy Beals, prevention-project coordinator for Drug Free Marion County, told WTHR.com in Indiana. “
Masking Alcohol Use
In Bedford, NY, a teacher found students were eating alcohol-laced gummy bears. They would soak them in liquor, usually vodka, and store them in the refrigerator for hours or days. The infused bears were much larger than the originals.
The trend began in the Midwest and has spread across the country. Students learn the tricks from YouTube, then teach one another.
“Masking alcohol makes it easier for the teen to ingest the alcohol because, first of all, most teens, if they’re drinking for the first time, don’t like the taste,” Ellen Morehouse, executive director of the Student Assistant Services Corp. in Westchester County, NY, told NBC New York. “The alcohol burns all the way down.”
This method of inebriation can quickly become dangerous. Say a person has too many gummy bears, gets drunk and can’t stomach the alcohol. If he or she vomits, the thick candy could cause choking. There is also the risk a toddler will think they are regular gummy bears and eat them, which could have deadly consequences.
It’s not easy raising children, especially teenagers. They have hit a rebellious, experimental age that keeps parents constantly worried. But many ways exist to help you keep your child from such activities.
Teens must understand the consequences of their actions. Luckily, the internet offers parents and teens endless information related to teen drug use. Stay alert and aware of your child during these impressionable years.
Glorioso, C. (2011, November 9). Teenagers Use Gummy Candy to Hide Alcohol. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Teenagers-Gummy-Candy-Alcohol-Boozy-Bears-133505668.html
Testcountry.org. (2009, December 8). Ten Most Common Places Where Kids Hide Drugs. Retrieved from http://www.testcountry.org/ten-most-common-places-where-kids-hide-drugs.htm
Dosomething.org. (n.d.). 11 Facts About Teens and Alcohol. Retrieved from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-teens-and-alcohol
Blakinger, K. (2016, April 8). Middle schooler busted with ecstasy tries claiming pills were just Smarties. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/student-busted-ecstasy-claims-pills-smarties-article-1.2593599
Kirschner, K. (2013, March 7). “Weed candy” just one way teenagers hide marijuana use. Retrieved from http://www.wthr.com/story/21482637/weed-candy-just-one-way-teenagers-hide-marijuana-use