The other day I received an alarming email from a friend. It was addressed to "all parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, teachers, etc....for your immediate attention!" Of course this got my attention. This is how the email read:

"This is a new drug known as 'strawberry quick'

There is a very scary thing going on in the schools right now that we all need to be aware of.

There is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks (the candy that sizzles and 'pops' in your mouth). It also smells like strawberry and it is being handed out to kids in school yards. They are calling it strawberry meth or strawberry quick.

Kids are ingesting this thinking that it is candy and being rushed off to emergency in dire condition. It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange.

Please instruct your children to not accept candy from strangers and even not to accept candy that looks like this from a friend (who may have been given it and believe it is candy) and to take any that they may have to a teacher, principal, etc. immediately."

I hadn't read any news stories to back up this information, and to me it sounded rather far-fetched to be happening in Singapore. But I didn't want to be complacent, so I did a little checking. It didn't take long to find that the exact same message has been circulating periodically in the USA for over a year. It seems that it was last seen as a Halloween warning last October.

According to, who have been following the story, there is no evidence that the drug has been peddled to children in school yards or smuggled into trick-or-treat bags. Even if drug dealers are hawking flavoured meth to kids to expand their clientele, what would they have to gain by handing it out under the pretense that it actually is candy? Eating the stuff would cause an overdose, and possibly death , and if you're a drug dealer, this is not a good way to increase your market share. points out that while coloured versions of methamphetamine that resemble candy are available (in the US), the claim that the drug is sold in flavoured varieties is a subject of some dispute. Police labs don't usually test drugs for flavouring ingredients, so the assumption that the drug smells or tastes like strawberry could just be because of the bright hue of the colouring.

Of course the abuse of this drug is of grave concern, and it is always good advice that children should not accept candy from strangers, but the misinformation in this email only brings panic and fear into parents' lives. Surely raising healthy children is difficult enough without having to deal with scaremongering too.

To read a sad poem about the effects of crystal meth addiction, read Sleepless in Singapore.


Anonymous said... @ October 8, 2008 at 1:44 AM

I just received such an email today. Reads more like a hoax to me. Have you checked with the Singapore authorities?

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