Beware of New Gummy Bear Drugs this Halloween-Mostly Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Parents should be on the lookout for a new street drug that looks like gummy bears that could be given out as Halloween candy.
Street drugs can be made to look like gummy bears, but there wasn’t a specific threat of them being given out as Halloween candy when this rumor went viral.
A warning that surfaced on infunny.co, a website that allows users to share memes and gifs, shows pictures of oversized gummy bears with the following warning:
Okay so there is a new drug on the streets that are in the form of a gummy bear, gummy worm etc. This Halloween if you get handed a gummy bear in (an) irregular package DON’T RECEIVE IT!
It is known to put you in a coma, make you brain dead and/or death.
As Halloween approached, the image went viral and left many questioning whether there actually was a new street drug that looks like gummy bears, and if there’s a threat that it could be given out as a Halloween candy.
First, there is a new street drug that takes the shape of gummy bears. The crystal-like synthetic drug was first found during a drug bust in Miami in June. The drug, which can be swallowed, smoked or injected, causes hallucinations and paranoia, CBS Miami reports:
During a narcotics bust, Miami-Dade Police said they found what looked like candy in a zip lock bag. Turns out, it was laced with a synthetic drug similar to Flakka and bath salts.
It’s a crystal-like drug that is cheap, addictive and deadly .It can be swallowed, smoked or injected and often causes hallucinations and paranoia.
“There’s been a lot of medical problems,” said Criminalist Stephen Snipes.
In this case, narcotics detectives say the drug mimicked the candy’s sugar coating. It looked almost identical to regular gummies but they were stickier and individually wrapped.
“The crystal was crushed up and a piece of candy was rolled in the crystals,” said Snipes. “It wasn’t as flexible and it was much stickier than the actual commercial product and it was individually wrapped.”
While this is Miami-Dade’s first case, police are warning the community to be on the look out.
The drug has led people to have numerous run-ins with South Florida authorities, some with deadly consequences.
Still, even though the warning that went viral makes credible warnings about a new street drug made to look like gummy bears, there’s no specific threat of it being given out this Halloween.
Each year as Halloween approaches, warnings about Halloween candy being laced with drugs, poison or razor blades go viral. TruthorFiction.com researched a similar rumor that the drug Ecstasy has been made to look like candy is being given out this Halloween, for example.
But in reality, there have been no confirmed reports of children being poisoned from Halloween candy that was handed out by strangers. The only confirmed case of poison by Halloween candy came in Texas in 1974 when a father named Ronald Clark O’Bryan poisoned his own child’s Halloween candy with cyanide in a life insurance scam, Mental Floss magazine reports:
A bit of digging revealed that Ronald O’Bryan had recently taken out hefty life insurance policies on both of his children, and police quickly built a case, albeit a circumstantial one, that O’Bryan had given both Timothy and his daughter, Elizabeth, the poison candy to try to collect on the policies. To help cover his tracks, O’Bryan also gave two other children cyanide Pixy Stix. Luckily, his daughter and the other two children had passed up the poisoned powders in favor of other treats.
O’Bryan was eventually convicted and executed for murdering his son. While his crime was certainly a horrific one, it was hardly the sort of random poisoning that parents fear.
Still, parents are always urged to be cautious when allowing their children to accept Halloween candy from strangers. Candy that isn’t packaged commercially should be discarded; as well as any candy with packaging that appears to have been tampered with.