By Dr. Thomas Tallman
Over the years, teenagers have discovered many ways to elude detection when consuming alcohol. Here’s one that may surprise you: soaking gummy bears in alcohol.
Soaking Gummy Bears in Vodka
There are teenagers who search for an undetectable mind-altering experience. Some have found a new way to get an alcohol buzz without arousing suspicion–alcohol soaked gummy bears. These are also known as Boozy Bears or Boozy Gummies. The candy absorbs vodka and becomes an alcohol snack. Teenagers do this in order to keep a mild buzz going throughout the day with the thought of avoiding detection. Many teenagers believe that vodka is odorless and undetectable, but the good news is that they are not fooling anyone.
Obviously, if you are seeing gummy candies disappear and alcohol is missing, you have an indication that you should worry. However, if you are waiting for telltale signs, you will miss your opportunity. Don’t wait for grades to slip and don’t ignore altered moods. Instead, as with any activity around illegal drinking, Boozy Bears can be a conversation starter with your teenager.
New Teen Alcohol Disguise
Sit down and ask your teenager whether he or she has heard of Boozy Bears. You could say, “I heard about a way that some teenagers are using alcohol. What do you think of that?” Remind your teenager that the risks of using alcohol before the brain has fully developed include an increased chance for addiction and that also includes eating alcohol-laden candy. Have a frank discussion and hope for an honest reply. You may find an underlying reason for a desired “altered mood.”
Boozy Bears aren’t the only way teenagers are trying to evade detection while using alcohol or other illegal drugs. Teenagers are using e-cigarettes to inhale marijuana and other illegal drugs. Meanwhile, some teenagers have even consumed hand sanitizer.
Dr. Thomas Tallman is the director of the Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.