Help Your Teen Avoid Drug-laced FoodLast Updated: Friday, February 16, 2018
Many of us have told our loved ones to watch out for spiked drinks at parties. But do you also need to warn your teens about drugs in their food?
You may want to consider it.
With the changing marijuana laws across the country, the generally relaxing attitudes towards the drug, and its increasing availability, accidental consumption of weed by partygoers is probably more common than you think.
A few cases in point:
In November 2017, three Michigan teens were hospitalized after they were tricked into eating marijuana-laced cereal. Police are investigating the incident and the ninth grader who reportedly gave the students the food.
Earlier this year, North Carolina hospital employees got sick after they unknowingly ate cookies and muffins laced with marijuana that a coworker brought in.
In 2016, gummy rings laced with marijuana and distributed at a quinceanera in California sent 19 people (including a six year old) to the hospital. Shortly after the incident, authorities were still trying to figure out who brought the candy to the party.
In 2014, a California teacher was arrested after bringing marijuana-laced food to an after-work potluck. Several partygoers reportedly got sick.
Unfortunately, eating marijuana is more dangerous than smoking it. The effects from smoking marijuana only take minutes. Edibles, however, take between 1-3 hours because food is absorbed into the bloodstream through the liver. The amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is very difficult to measure and is often unknown in food, making overdose (especially if you don’t know you’re consuming weed-laced food) more likely.
If you’re nervous about your teens accidentally consuming drug-laced foods at a party, make sure you share the quick tips below with them before they head out:
Think about how well you know the host. Close friends or family who are aware of your desire to be drug-free are less likely to knowingly expose you to laced goods. People you don’t really know, though, might not be as considerate.
If you’re suspicious, don’t eat the candy or baked goods. Edible marijuana most commonly comes in these forms. Stick to the Doritos or other well-known packaged goods.
Ask questions. Finally, chat with other partygoers. Get the vibe of the crowd, learn more about the host (if you don’t know him or her), find out who brought which dish – and if you’re still not sure, don’t be afraid to pass.
Let your teen know that it’s OK to go out and have fun! But there’s nothing wrong with taking a little extra precaution if you find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings.
More information on marijuana edibles, check out this article on JustThinkTwice.gov.