Alcohol Gummy Bears

Just a few moments ago, my MASK Matters newsletter flew into my inbox with something I just had to share.

First a little bit about MASK. Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids is an organization with mission to educate both parents and children about the issues facing our youth today and to empower children to make safe, healthy choices.

The article I wanted to share is about how creative teens can be in hiding things from their parents. Here is what MASK has to say:

One of the scariest things about raising teens is the possibility that they might be influenced to drink. You can warn them of the dangers and consequences until you’re blue in the face, but sometimes peer pressure gets the best of them. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than four million adolescents drink alcohol in any given month.

And what’s more frightening, is how clever they’ve become about hiding the act from parents. Once upon a time, teens stole alcohol from their parents’ liquor cabinet, and locking the alcohol away was a fine way to curb the problem. But today, their creativity makes it harder and harder to keep up with the trends. The latest trend in undercover drinking is especially savvy and literally untraceable.

Teens are using gummy candy (bears and worms, to be exact) to get drunk. They soak the candy in alcohol, let it absorb, and plop them in a plastic bag and away they go — off to school, football games, wherever. If you saw gummy candy in your teen’s backpack, you might think “no big deal.” What’s even more concerning is how appealing these eye-catching treats look to younger siblings and younger kids in general. Let’s think about that for a minute.

As a parent, I have had conversations with our child to never take candy from someone they don’t know. Now, I have to change that speech to include those they might know, too.

What are your thoughts?