Flavored meth makes inroads with pre-teens - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Flavored meth makes inroads with pre-teens

By Shayla Reaves

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- A dangerous new form of meth is headed to the area and it's aimed at kids. It's called Strawberry Quick, but unlike the popular breakfast drink, this drug can kill. WAVE 3's Shayla Reaves investigates how you can spot signs of the drug.

"Strawberry meth" looks and tastes a lot like the candy known as "pop rocks." It's got a strawberry flavor and scent, and it even pops in your mouth, just like the candy. While no cases have been reported in Kentucky, police say its not a matter of if it arrives, but "when."

Strawberry meth is dangerous because parents may not give it a second glance, mistaking it for candy or for harmless trash.

One grandfather we talked with was grateful we brought the new threat to young people to his attention. "I hadn't heard about it before, but I'm glad to know about it."

Makers of "Strawberry Quick" are now using scent and taste to lure kids ages as young as 12 into trying meth.

As Sgt. Stanley Salyards with Metro Narcotics explained, "they're taking something, they're putting a strawberry flavoring in it, making it look different, smell different, taste different."

Henry Spiller with the Kentucky Regional Poison Center of Kosair says it's an effort to make meth more appealing. "Meth has sort of a bitter, nasty taste, so it's kind of easy for the young kids to get into this."

According to Spiller, unlike other forms of meth, Strawberry Quick may be marketed in smaller amounts, making it cheaper and more accessible to children.

As Spiller points out, parents would become suspicious if their children asked for enough money to buy a larger quantity of meth, but most likely won't question a child asking for $5.

The Kentucky Regional Poison Center has had meth cases in the past, but there's no system in place to track specific types of meth.

Spiller says there are some easy signs that parents can look for. "They just buy a bag of Glad sandwich bags, so it may just be in a clear plastic baggy, you wonder why you have this pink substance in a bag -- there's no reason there should be pop rocks in your sock drawer."

Kenny Hardin with the Bullitt County Drug Task Force says flavor could make meth harder to track. He says 12 to 14 year olds aren't the traditional age groups for the drug, and it would require different techniques to crack down on it.

So far, there have been no reported cases of strawberry meth in Kentucky. Louisville leads the state in the number of meth busts in 2007, with a total of 31 so far for the year.