You’ve probably seen the warnings that circulate around Facebook every year around Halloween about individuals passing out ecstasy tablets as Halloween candy. Many websites have since debunked this myth, and as one writer points out, parents can rest easy, no one’s trying to pass out expensive street drugs to their children. Still year after year we see the same old warning.
Though there are no cases that can substantiate the claims that people are intentionally spiking candy with illegal drugs, there have been dozens of cases where parents have reported finding different medications either placed inside or accidentally passed out as candy. Today we’ll look at five of these stories from 2015.
Attempted Poisoning in Poughkeepsie
Joan Turner reported that she found pills concealed within a candy bar her daughter received at the Poughkeepsie Galleria’s annual “Malloween” event. During the event children are invited to collect candy at participating stores. Thankfully, Ms. Turner’s daughter did not ingest the contaminated candy. There was no followup on whether police had apprehended any suspects related to the case.
The RCMP in Lloydminster received at least five reports about tampered candy. In at least one case a child received an entire unopened blister pack of medication, while another child found pills in an unsealed candy bar. Police were investigating the reports, but urged the public not to panic. No children fell ill as a result of any of the reported incidents.
A Canadian pharmacy found themselves in hot water when it was discovered that individually wrapped psychiatric medication had gotten mixed into a candy bowl by mistake. Parents who took their children to the pharmacy were urged to check their children’s candy, but were assured by the police that the medication would not be life-threatening if accidentally ingested.
Risperdol in the Reeses
Parents in St. Marys, Georgia reported that they had found two separate candies spiked with pills. The pills were taken in for testing and one was determined to be Risperdol, an anti-psychotic medication, while another was determined to be an antihistamine. Police warned all parents that if, “you or your child are experiencing abnormal effects after eating Halloween candy you should seek medical attention immediately.”
An 11-year-old Sacramento girl says that she got home from trick-or-treating, only to find one of her candies had been opened. Inside she found two white unmarked pills. The girl told reporters that it would be her last year trick-or-treating and urged parents to always make sure they check their children’s candy. It’s unclear where the candy came from or if any other children may have received the tainted candy.