New Trend: Teens Use Gummy Bears to Get Drunk

Teens have found yet another way to hide underage drinking. Forget spiking the punch and Jell-o shots, teens are now spiking gumming bears or any gummy candy with alcohol.

Teens are using gummy candy (bears and worms to be exact) to get drunk. They soak the candy in alcohol. Photo: Bethany King/Flickr

For all of you candy lovers out there, there is apparently a new use for a certain, classic kind of candy. Gummy bears are no longer the innocent treats they’ve always been, and a more creative use of the sticky candy might get some kids in trouble with the law.

Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by teenagers in the United States.

About half of junior high and senior high school students drink alcohol on a monthly basis, and 14% of teens have been intoxicated at least once in the past year. Nearly 8% of teens who drink say they drink at least five or more alcoholic drinks in a row (binge drink).

The American Academyof Pediatrics found that more than four million adolescents drink alcohol in any month.

According to sources, teens are using gummy bears to basically get drunk in an undercover sort of way.

This clever method of concealing and consuming alcohol is extremely dangerous as it would be very difficult to tell how much alcohol the gummy bear absorbed.

With the sweetness of the candy masking the alcohol taste and putting the alcohol in such an innocent package, the hazard of this delivery method of alcohol is very disturbing because it only makes it easier to hide and distribute to unsuspecting friends or to even young children.

Unfortunately, the Internet is not helping matters as teens have very easy access to how to videos on YouTube and can find recipes with a quick online search to learn to make their own alcohol tainted gummy candy.

Darcy Jensen from Prairie View Prevention Services inSouth Dakotaworks with school districts to prevent teen drinking as part of the “Parents Matter” campaign.

She sent out a warning to schools last week to warn them about the trend. It’s important for parents to be aware so that they can spot if their teen has tried it, she says.

“Maybe someone has offered the candy and they didn’t even know. So telling the kids ahead of time this could be something to be aware of is important,” Jensen said.

Parents should talk to their teens about this new trend of underage drinking so their children won’t become an unsuspecting victim of a spiked gummy bear.

Experts believe that if teens know that their parents are aware this new method that it may discourage children to “brew” their own batch of gummies or engage in the activity altogether.

“It’s a good conversation starter to talk about the whole issue of alcohol and underage drinking and the hazards,” Jensen said.

Whenever there is any word of a new drinking trend occurring among youth, it’s crucial for parents to be educated about it and respond accordingly.

Knowledge can help prevent underage drinking and DUIs, but it also tells parents not to hesitate to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney if their teen gets arrested. [via Huff Post, The Virginia DWI Blog, Medicine Net and Minneapolis DWI Blog]

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