Many children across the nation are now experimenting with a new and peculiar drug: Smarties.
Doctors are warning parents about the new trend among teens that started at an East Coast middle school.
Authorities say that instead of eating the small candies, they are crushing and inhaling them.
"Where do they get these ideas? You know, can they harm themselves? You know, what will it lead to? They are all concerns, obviously," parent Adrian Markey said.
Parents in Portsmouth, RI, received an email alert earlier this week. The alert informed parents that students at Portsmouth Middle School were snorting Smarties.
"I got the email last night and I was pretty amazed. I've never heard of such a thing," parent Bruce Digennaro said.
Officials say children have been snorting candy to imitate cocaine users seen on TV and the movies. They used crushed up Smarties candies and Pixie Sticks like powdered candy.
"They laugh about it, they say that they've heard of kids doing it, but they don't imply that it's a big problem or that it's something that a lot of people do," Digennaro said.
Parents initially didn't know if they should take the news seriously, but authorities are now saying that the habit could lead to a host of health issues, like nose maggots.
They also caution against it, because the ingredients in the candy can cause internal bleeding and lung infections.
"Anytime you snort or inhale a substance into your lungs that Is not meant to be, it is definitely hazardous to your health," said Rebecca Boss, an administrator with the states behavior healthcare department.
Authorities are urging parents to pay careful attention to their children's hobbies and behavior. They also say parents should search their children's text messages for clues.
"Any kinds of changes in behavior are definitely indications that the child is doing something they may not want the parent to know about," Boss said.
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