Today I caught a few minutes of Dr. Phil, and it was deeply disturbing. A nice, middle-class couple was tearfully talking about how their son had somehow gone off the rails despite their loving, conscientious parenting. The mother had written a long poem about what it might be like to bury their son if he didn't straighten out soon, and talked about the grieving process she had to go through when his personality changed dramatically. The father wept and said he blamed himself for his son's condition. Clearly, this kid had a serious drug problem. So it was very troubling when his photo was flashed on the screen; he was only about 12 years old, 13 tops! He still looked very much like a child, with chipmunky cheeks and a big grin on his face.
So what got him? Was it heroin? Meth?
Um. No. It was Pixy Stix. You know, those little straws full of sugar?
Yeah. It seems kids are snorting powdered candy and "exhaling" it to simulate cigarette smoking. While there's a minor choking hazard involved, not to mention some nasal and/or laryngeal irritation issues, it's not particularly harmful. Stupid, yes. A waste of candy, yes. But not harmful.
Please relax, parents. Your kids may be kinda dumb, but they're not going to die from exhaling Necco wafer fumes or inhaling pulverized Sweet Tarts. And they're probably not going to go straight from candy to crack. Hell, when I was in middle school some of the boys were into snorting white flour, and I don't think any of them turned into street addicts. They eventually got bored with it, tired of having nosebleeds all the time, and forgot the whole thing. Despite their dumbassery, they even managed to function in society! Now their kids are probably snorting their wives' Crystal Light, and the grand circle of life continues.
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