Strawberry Quick Methamphetamine Warning
Messages warn that a form of strawberry colored and scented methamphetamine dubbed “Strawberry Quick” is being distributed to school children.
The message contains elements of truth. However, the warnings are highly exaggerated and inaccurate. The claims in these misleading messages should not be taken seriously.
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Examples (Submitted, Facebook, February 2012)
I don’t want this to scare anyone, but as a parent and friend, I thought it would be best to share this with you, so you can once again talk to your children about the effects of drugs and how easy it could be to take drugs without knowing it, until it is too late. I worry, just as each of you do about kids and drugs and all the problems our kids today are faced with. So please talk with your children about this newest threat to get children addicted to drugs!
Take care, God Bless and I’ve said a prayer that none of our kids will ever be faced with taking or being addicted to drugs! I thought it may be a good idea so that those with children can remind them not to take unpackaged candy from anyone in school and of course, those they don’t know. Apparently, this meth is sweet and candy like, similar to pop rock crystals. this is hapening everywere be cautious.
(Submitted, email, October 2007)
Halloween Warning for Parents
There is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks. It smells like strawberry also and it is being handed out to kids in school yards in AR. I’m sure it will make its way around the country. Kids are ingesting this thinking it is candy and being rushed off to the ER in dire condition.
It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange. It looks just like pop rocks.
Please instruct children to not accept candy that looks like this even from a friend and to take any that they may have to a teacher, principal, etc.
Pass this around it could save some family a lot of heartache! They call it strawberry meth or strawberry quick.
Special Agent Todd V. Coleman
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
[Contact details removed]
Submitted, email, May 2007)
They are calling this new form of meth “Strawberry Quick” and it looks like the “Pop Rocks” candy that sizzle in your mouth. In its current form, it is dark pink in color and has a strawberry scent to it.
Please advise your children and their friends and other students not to accept candy from strangers as this is obviously an attempt to seduce children into drug use. They also need to be cautious in accepting candy from even friends that may have received it from someone else, thinking it is just candy.
Emails advising recipients about “Strawberry Quick”, a form of pink, strawberry scented methamphetamine began hitting inboxes in April 2007. New versions of the message that claimed strawberry meth was being actively handed out in schoolyards began circulating several months later. A new Facebook driven variant of the warning emerged in early 2012. The messages warn that unsuspecting children may be more willing to try the drug or take a dose by accident because it looks and smells like candy.
This new form of methamphetamine is apparently real, although it appears that its distribution may actually be extremely uncommon. According to a May 2007 Associated Press article, “Strawberry Quick” came to the attention of drug enforcement agents after the Nevada Department of Public Safety released a bulletin about the substance in January 2007.
However, some months after these initial reports it appears that authorities have found very little evidence to suggest that flavored meth is a widespread problem. An article on the Join Together website notes:
However, both the DEA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy told Join Together that they have not been able to identify a single confirmed seizure of flavored meth.
“There are a lot of people in prevention and law enforcement talking about it, but in terms of actual seizures we haven’t seen much,” said Tom Riley, a spokesperson for ONDCP. Rojean White, a spokesperson for the DEA, told Join Together that while local DEA agents have heard stories about flavored meth from local law-enforcement colleagues, they “haven’t had any” seizures themselves.
Thus, the large amount of media attention given to reports of flavored meth, along with emailed “warnings”, have probably made the threat seem a lot more significant than it really is. The Join Together article suggests that some law enforcement agencies may be confusing flavored meth with meth that is simply colored. Some types of meth are pink in color because of dye used in the pills it is manufactured from. Although this pink meth may seemingly confirm reports of strawberry quick, it is not flavored and not specifically aimed at children.
Moreover, claims in some versions of the warning email that strawberry meth is being handed out in schoolyards are unfounded. There are no credible reports to back up these claims in any way. If children were “being rushed off to the ER in dire condition” after ingesting flavored meth in the school yard, there would certainly be media and police reports detailing such incidents.
One version may seem more legitimate because it is seemingly endorsed by Special Agent Todd Coleman. However, Agent Colemen told About Urban Legends that he did not issue the warning. Agent Coleman’s apparent endorsement became part of the forward because his email signature was added to a copy of the message that he sent to a colleague for verification.
It is true that children are likely to be more susceptible to a comparatively attractive, flavored form of the drug. That said, even if there are dealers actively distributing “Strawberry Quick”, they are probably not specifically targeting children. Meth has a harsh, chemical taste so making the drug more palatable by adding flavoring may help dealers market it. In reality, it is more likely that “enhanced” forms of the drug would be targeted at teenagers and young adults rather than children.
Although the threat of flavored meth may not be as significant as authorities first believed, US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley took it seriously enough to introduce legislation that will “increase the federal criminal penalties for drug dealers who entice children with candy-flavored methamphetamine and other flavored drugs”.
Parents and guardians should certainly talk to their children about this issue. However, current versions of the email warning about flavored meth are highly exaggerated and inaccurate. The claims in these messages should not be taken seriously.
Article written by Brett M. Christensen