Home » Doing Drugs with Paul Dillon » ‘Strawberry quik’: Drug warnings and Facebook

‘Strawberry quik’: Drug warnings and Facebook

I have recently been contacted by someone
who had received a Facebook message warning about a new drug apparently “going
around” schools in the US called ‘Strawberry Quick’. It’s a great worry that
this story is doing the rounds again, this time on Facebook instead of via
emails, but let’s clear it up quickly before it gets out of hand and ends up as
a headline in the Daily Telegraph, again …

This is a classic ‘urban myth’ – this time
telling the story of an apparent new marketing ploy of methamphetamine
manufacturers. When it first appeared in this country, media stories quoted US
drug agencies warning Australians to brace for a new wave of
strawberry-flavoured amphetamines specifically designed to appeal to juvenile
taste-buds. These stories were accompanied by email alerts sent around the
country warning parents to be on the lookout for this new form of the drug
which was once again being used by ‘drug pushers’ to target their children.
The flavoured drug, known as ‘strawberry
ice’ or ‘strawberry quik’, was apparently already proving popular with young
users in the States. According to these sources a strawberry flavouring and some
pink reddish food colouring was added to the mix during the manufacturing
process and then these are heavily targeted towards the younger market.
So what do we know about ‘strawberry ice’?
According to the site Snopes.com this story is partially true. It started to do
the rounds in early 2007 after there were apparently some seizures of red
methamphetamine made in a number of states across the US. A number of Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents were reported as saying that the drug resembled
Pop Rocks (a lolly that fizzes in the mouth) and that it was another example of
the depths that ‘evil drug dealers’ would stoop to. 
The problem with this story is that there
is no evidence that supports the claim that there had been any flavouring added
to it. Yes, it may have been brightly coloured (which could have been due to
the manufacturing process and the chemicals used and not in fact, a marketing
ploy) but did it taste like strawberry Quik, as it has been claimed a number of
times? As far as anyone can find out, no taste tests were done. It was all
rumour and ‘someone telling someone something else that someone had told them’.
Of course, the media lapped it up and concerned parents forwarded the email
alert onto their friends believing that they were doing the right thing.
Now we see it on Facebook – a real
sign-of-the-times! Still untrue and still very dangerous if people start
sharing it via their Facebook network. So what should you do if you receive one
of these messages? It’s simple – don’t pass it on!
So how do you know if information on drug
warnings is accurate or not? Unfortunately there is no way that you can
guarantee the tale you have been sent is based on fact or not. My best advice
is to contact the source. These emails usually contain a quote from a law
enforcement officer or a hospital representative stressing the urgency of the
situation (you’ll see the name of a doctor on the letter provided in the
Facebook message – no such person exists! See the following link
for a statement from the health agency mentioned on the letterhead stating that they never issued the warning and no doctor by that name has ever worked there!). Before
you pass a Facebook message, or email (they still pop up now and then), spend a
moment or two trying to get in contact with the person or agency quoted in the
Once again, these so-called ‘warnings’ are
dangerous. If you ever receive one please don’t forward it on before attempting
to check out the facts.

Looking for information or support services on alcohol or drugs?

If you or a friend or family member needs assistance in this area, Alcohol and Drug Information Services (ADIS) are available in every state and territory. Each of these are each staffed by trained professionals who can help with your query and provide confidential advice or refer you to an appropriate service in your area.

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