Cute Baby Boy inside Bear Costume Eating or Grabbing Candies at Halloween
Published On: October 4, 2023|Categories: Family Support, Substance Abuse|

Autumn generally ushers in cool weather, cozy clothes, pumpkin spice everything and of course, the annual arrival of a spooky holiday.

While not everyone loves the scary side of Halloween, devouring buckets of candy has a special place in many people’s hearts. Unfortunately, there can be a dark side to something as seemingly innocent as distributing pre-wrapped candy to eager children in creative costumes.

Since you’re reading this article, you’re likely either familiar with the concept of laced Halloween candy and are seeking to refresh your memory, or perhaps just heard the phrase for the first time and are wanting to learn more about it.

You’re in the right place. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at laced Halloween candy, what it is, what it looks like and other ways to tell if your candy is laced.

What is laced Halloween candy?

“Laced candy” refers to candy that may have been tampered and infused with harmful substances like poison or drugs, even sharp options and other small-but-dangerous items.

The idea that there are malicious individuals intentionally going out of their way to lace children’s candy has long been the subject of widespread concerns and various urban legends. Some people religiously review every piece of candy before their children consume any of it, while others believe the entire concept is fabricated.

Whether you have or haven’t heard of laced candy before, we’re going to walk you through the basics. The reality is, that drugs and small items like razors have been found in Halloween candy before, but the good news is these cases are not very common at all.

What does laced candy look like?

The short answer is that laced candy can look nearly identical to many standard candies.

Marijuana edibles will almost never be in the shape of a cannabis leaf and opioid- or prescription medication-laced sweets won’t simply be riddled with whole pills. Substances are generally liquified or turned into a powder before being subtly infused into the candy.

This is why you can’t solely rely on appearance to tell you whether or not the food has been laced. Gummy candies, hard candies, chocolate and baked goods can all hide various substances and other small harmful items while relatively easily maintaining their shape.

This might sound discouraging to some parents, but there are other ways to distinguish the potentially problematic candies in your child’s Halloween sweets haul this year.

How to know if candy is laced

While many laced treats can look like traditional candies, here’s how you can more confidently sort through Halloween candy this year.

1. Beware of open wrappers

A candy with an open wrapper (whether blatantly open or looking as if it’s been resealed) is a red flag. While there might still be some naive souls handing out handmade candy in open bags, your safest bet is to just immediately throw out all open or slightly open candies.

2. Pay attention to smell

Marijuana has a very pungent and distinct odor that rarely goes away, especially after being heated and baked into an edible (whether a candy or baked good like a brownie). While it might not be obvious from across the room, a quick sniff of the candy itself can be very telling.

3. Read candy brand names

Many cannabis edibles (legally or illicitly produced), drug-laced Halloween candies and other substance-infused treats have misspelled labels, or traditional names that have been altered into a pun or are unmarked altogether. All of these are common signs of tampering.

If you think you or someone you know has ingested drug-laced candy, seek emergency medical attention immediately and then contact local law enforcement if the tests end up revealing a drug or poison in your system.

Speak with an advisor today

High Focus Treatment Centers specializes in providing outpatient mental health and substance use treatment to adolescents, tweens, teens and adults from all walks of life. Our services are also veteran-friendly, providing an additional, more specialized level of support to veterans.

We have a diverse, multidisciplinary team of experienced healthcare professionals who all share the same mission: equipping you with the skills, support and resources you need to be your healthiest, most fulfilled self.

Send us a message or give our team a call today to learn more about our services and figure out which one is the best fit for you.

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