Watch Out For Drugs Disguised As Halloween Candy, DEA Warns

By Kelly Burch 11/01/18

According to the agency, methamphetamine and marijuana are the drugs most commonly disguised in edible form.

three children in halloween costumes

It may sound like a storyline out of a low-budget comedy, but last year the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) found drugs disguised as off-brand Halloween candies including Munchy Way, 3 Rastateers, Twixed, Keef Kat and Rasta Reese’s.

This year, the agency is telling parents to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

“These treats can look like traditional candies, but can have harmful effects if consumed by a child,” the DEA said in a news release. “The DEA and law enforcement agencies throughout the country have seen an increase of seizures of drug-laced edibles, including but not limited to chocolates, suckers and gummies.”

According to the agency, methamphetamine and marijuana are the drugs most commonly disguised in edible form. Marijuana is often infused into brownies, candy bars and gummies, while meth is more likely to be mixed into hard candies and gummies, the agency said.  

“The effects caused by those ingredients are now in the food,” the agency said. 

While it might seem easy to spot, the agency cautioned that the drug-laced candies can be easy to overlook at first glance. 

“Such items are often professionally packaged and can easily be mistaken for regular candy or baked goods,” the agency said. However, there are some signs to be on the lookout for, including unusual wrapping, appearance, or colors; an odd smell; misspelled candy labels; and candy or food that is unwrapped or unmarked.

People who suspect that they have drug-laced candies should contact their local police departments and seek immediate medical attention if a child has ingested the candy. 

Although the idea of drugs in Halloween candy might seem far-fetched, one Ohio police department had to issue a warning to residents this week after a 5-year-old boy tested positive for meth after trick-or-treating. 

“Please check your children's candy that was received today while trick or treating. Also, please check any non-candy items such as rings, bracelets, necklaces or fake teeth. If you suspect that anything has been tampered with, please contact our department by phone so that an officer can stop and collect the items,” the Galion Police Department wrote on Facebook

The boy, Braylen Carwell, began experiencing odd symptoms after collecting candy. 

“The left side of his face was just droopy and then he fell and then he couldn’t move his left arm. And he didn’t know where he was, he didn’t know what he was doing,” Braylen’s mother, Julia Pence, told ABC 6. 

Braylen is expected to be fine, and the police department said that they had no other reports of incidents involving tainted candy. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.