Yesterday, the Swampscott Patch published an article entitled, “Poison, Ecstasy and Razors In Halloween Candy: The Holiday’s Biggest lie.” The article went further to substantiate the myth by citing Dr. Joel Best, a sociology and criminal professor at the University of Delaware. Dr. Best has been researching the topic of the passing of contaminated candy for 30-years. According to Dr. Best the grand total of children dying or being seriously injured by contaminated candy being handed out by strangers to children is zero.
In September, the city of Jackson Mississippi police posted the following warning, “If your kids get these for Halloween candy, they ARE NOT CANDY!!! They are the new shapes of “Ecstasy” and can kill kids through overdoses!!! So, check your kid’s candy and “When in doubt, Throw it out!!!” Be safe and always keep the shiny side up.”
The Facebook post recently resurfaced last week and was mysteriously removed hours later. Presumably, since Halloween is just around the corner; the police warning has been shared voluminously – creating panic among parents. It is possible the initial post was a hoax and the police erroneously published it without proper fact-checking.
Whether you believe the report to be fact or fiction is immaterial to some. If you look at the grand scheme of things – as Hillary Clinton famously said during the Benghazi hearings – what difference does it make?
“Whether the report by the Jackson, Mississippi police was a myth or actually true, parents need to be vigilant about their children during Halloween now more than ever,” said Karen Corcoran-Walsh, owner and founder of Inspirations for Youth and Families teen rehab and the Cove Center for Recovery adult drug rehab. “Is it so difficult to fathom that this can actually happen? We already have seen one case arise in South Florida – only a few months ago.”
Corcoran-Walsh was referring to a recent Miami-Dade Police drug raid this past summer reported by the Examiner in the article, “Flakka derivative disguised as kid’s candy a new low for drug dealers.” The covert police operation shockingly yielded a batch of the popular Sour Patch Kids candy coated with Ethylone, a recreational designer drug similar to the drug flakka. The synthetic drug flakka is terrorizing the streets of Broward and Palm Beach counties.
So what is a parent to do? According to Corcoran-Walsh, the first step to having a safe Halloween for your kids is to face the music and admit there is a potential risk. Parents can’t stick their heads in the sand and be in denial about the possibility that the candy haul that their little ones gather may be contaminated with drugs.
Corcoran-Walsh offers the following tips. Any candy wrappers that are ripped, torn, or slightly opened should be discarded. Candy that you have never seen before, or is suspicious in nature, should also be thrown away. Corcoran-Walsh also prefers that kids only collect candy from homes that they know.
Police have routinely advised parents to talk with their children about the dangers of taking candy from strangers, especially during Halloween and to not consume candy that is not properly packaged. It is important to stress that this rule should be followed everyday and not only during special holidays.
“It’s a sad testimony of the times today that dictate our need to alter our lives due to drugs infiltrating our society at the very base level,” said Corcoran-Walsh. “Unfortunately, there is an inherent risk that there is candy circulating in local communities in South Florida that may contain dangerous drugs.”