Ooo this should be a fun one! We’ve all heard them: crazy yet believable stories about drugs, which I like to refer to as Drug Urban Legends. These veritable “ghost stories” of the drug variety are most likely passed around by overly-concerned parents and sensationalist news casters as a way to convince folks that there is great imminent threat in the form of unwitting children turning into overnight drug addicts. So, without much further ado, I give you the latest in our Drug Myths Debunked series: Drug Urban Legends.
Drug Urban Legend: Drug-laced or poisoned Halloween candy
I’m willing to bet that everyone has heard a variation of this one at some point in their life. Like mine, your parents probably insisted on “checking” your candy before you ate it because it might have been tampered with in some way. Whether they cautioned that your candy could have been injected with poison, drugs, or somehow booby-trapped with a razor blade or needle, your parents got first dibs on your candy. If you were like me, your biggest concern was getting pennies, nickels, or ribbon candy while trick-or-treating. There has never been a genuine case of drug-laced or poisoned Halloween candy. Unfortunately, there have been cases of non-random poisonings by relatives that were made to look random by masking their deed with this drug urban legend.
Drug Urban Legend: Drug-laced candy or lollipops given to schoolchildren
There is a nugget of truth to this one although it has nothing to do with unsuspecting children being duped into ingesting drugs. There have been cases of drugs being found in lollipops and seemingly innocuous items that can be hollowed out for the disguise and transfer of drugs. According to the U.S. DEA, drugs such as THC, PCP, and heroin have been found in the form of hollowed-out lollipops but were never used for the distribution to schoolchildren. It’s easy to see how news of drug-laced lollipops could evolve into a horror story involving children since lollipops are usually associated with the innocence of childhood. In fact, that is probably why drug dealers and smugglers chose this specific item to corrupt, with hopes that their scheme would go undetected.
Drug Urban Legend: Drugs being smuggled in a baby’s corpse
This gruesome drug myth dates back to the 1970s and usually goes something like this: drug traffickers kidnap and kill tourists’ babies, which the then cut open, stuff with drugs, and sew shut in order to smuggle drugs over the border. Although drug smugglers are known to be both ruthless and creative in finding ways to transport their goods, there are no actual, verifiable cases of dead babies being stuffed with drugs and smuggled over the border.
Drug Urban Legend: The Legend of the Gnome
Now, this one was new to me. As the story goes, there’s a group of teenagers tripping on acid or mushrooms who are out and about one night, most likely walking through one of the teens’ neighborhoods. They come across what they believe to be a gnome or hobgoblin – something fantastic like that. They capture it and bring it home. After sleeping off the effects of the drugs, they realize that what they caught was in fact a child. Now, here’s where the story can go in two very different directions. The positive outcome is that the teenagers were unwitting heroes, finding a lost child. The story can also take the tone of a cautionary drug tale in which the teenagers, feeling threatened by the “gnome” in their intoxicated state kill it only to find out the next day, when they’re sobered up, that it was an actual child. Like the other drug urban legends above, this one has never been substantiated.
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