Does Flavored Meth Even Make
At first blush, the idea of adding flavoring to
methamphetamine to make the drug more appealing to young
users seems to be plausible. "The traffickers know the word
is out about what a horrible drug this is," deputy drug czar
Scott Burns told USA Today on March 25. "They are
having a tough time selling this product, especially to
young people. What do people in marketing do when they have
a tough time selling a product? They have to come up with
some sort of gimmick."
But Tom McNamara of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force
Group says that Burns' premise is flawed. "The Mexicans are
selling all the meth they can make," he tells Join Together.
"Why would they need to flavor it? ... The drug is used for
its effect, not its flavor."
An estimated 80 percent of meth users either snort or
inject the drug, although some novice users eat the drug.
"The only way you can appreciate something that tastes good
is to eat it," said McNamara, "and that's not the preferred
way to use meth. There's no way you're going to get as high
as you would by snorting it or shooting it up."
Jeanne Cox, executive director of the Meth Project
Foundation, is more willing to accept the flavored meth
story. "I wouldn't put anything past these dealers and
cartels," she said. "On the face of it, it seems very
logical ... It's not an outlandish thing."
Austin, Texas resident Micah Burns, a former meth addict,
dealer and cook who is currently in treatment and works as a
consultant for a drug-testing firm, agrees that the idea of
dealers marketing to kids "definitely makes sense," citing
the so-called "cheese heroin" being sold in Dallas as an
"Some people have the mindset when they're dealing that
it's all about the money," he told Join Together. "If you
get them hooked at a young age then you have more time to
get money from them."
Micah Burns added that while he personally didn't mind
the taste of meth, others found it bitter. Adding flavoring
wouldn't make any difference to users who snort the drug --
"you don't taste it because it burns like all-get-out," he
said -- but might be appealing to the minority of users who
eat the drug.
However, the former meth-lab operator and chemistry
expert questions whether meth could really be mixed with
Strawberry Quik drink mix or other sweet substances. "I
don't think that's correct, because the sugar group would
break down the methyl group" during cooking, ruining the
batch, he said.