In the past couple of months you may have seen some media coverage or an email dealing with an apparently new marketing ploy of methamphetamine manufacturers. Media stories have quoted US drug agencies warning Australians to brace for a new wave of strawberry-flavoured amphetamines specifically designed to appeal to juvenile tastebuds.
The flavoured drug, known as “strawberry ice”, has apparently already proven popular with young users in the States. According to these sources a strawberry flavouring and some reddish food colouring are added to the mix during the manufacturing process and then these are heavily targeted towards the younger market.
I always become highly suspicious when warning emails do the rounds. The vast majority of these emails have no basis in truth whatsoever and they are what we call urban myths. Unfortunately, because they are often received from friends you know well and trust, they are believed and passed on.
So what do we know about “strawberry ice”? According to the site Snopes.com this story is partially true. It started to do the rounds in April of this year after there were seizures of red methamphetamine made in a number of states across the US. A number of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents were reported as saying that the drug resembled Pop Rocks (a lolly that fizzes in the mouth) and that it was another example of the depths that “evil drug dealers” would stoop to.
The problem with this story is that there is no evidence that supports the claim that there had been any flavouring added to it. Yes, it was brightly coloured but did it taste like strawberry Quik, as it has been claimed a number of times? As far as anyone can find out, no taste tests have been done. Was it being marketed towards young children? In reality this is very hard to believe, particularly in this country. With crystal costing around $300 per gram, how many school students would be able to afford it? It simply makes no sense. This appears to be a marketing ploy by manufacturers which backfired badly.
These email warnings are dangerous. If you receive this or any other drug warning by email, please don’t forward it on before checking out the facts.
Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blasé.