Dealers target kids with drug-laced sweets on TikTok as cannabis poisonings soar
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Dealers are targetting kids with drug-laced sweets on popular social media sites like TikTok.
As the craze grips schools, the number of children being treated for cannabis poisoning has almost tripled.
Hundreds of young kids are being taken to A&E every year suffering from hallucinations, heart palpitations, paranoia, and anxiety attacks.
Eating sweets laced with drugs, called 'edibles', allows the effects of the cannabis to release slower than if it was smoked.
One 12-year-old tried a Nerds sweet she knew was drugged but had no way of knowing how powerful the "high" would be when it kicked in hours after, writes The Mirror.
She said: "I was completely freaking out, my stomach flipped, my head was spinning. I couldn’t stop crying. I was convinced I was going to die and it’s not something I ever want to go through again."
Her mum added: "Her little heart was racing at a million miles an hour and she kept telling us she couldn’t breathe and had pains in her chest.
"She started vomiting and it was only when we got her to A&E that she started to come back to reality.
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"These edibles are designed to appeal to children and must be a gateway drug for kids that would normally be scared to smoke a spliff or take a pill."
345 children in England and Wales were rushed to hospital with cannabis poisoning in 2019-2020, compared to 130 in 2012/13, statistics reveal.
Also, 868 kids attended hospital for mental issues triggered by drugs in 2019/20, which stands at more than double the 344 a decade earlier.
Some youngsters suffer long-term brain damage, and there are reports of young people killing themselves after taking edibles in the US.
Sweets can contain drugs like ecstasy and spice – dubbed the 'zombie drug' as it leaves users like the apocalyptic zombie.
Mike Power, expert on the online drugs market, says the craze has spiralled as they're cheap and easy to produce.
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The author said: "They can be made almost anywhere, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, sheds. It’s also lucrative. The profit margins are astounding."
Accounts were found by The Mirror on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, which have millions of accounts under the age of 18.
It comes after a 16-year-old girl baked brownie bars laced with cannabis and took them to school in Croydon, South London in 2019. She and five other students needed hospital treatment.
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YouTube said: "We have guidelines that prohibit any content encouraging dangerous, illegal activities. Upon review, we have age-restricted and demonetised all four of the videos.
TikTok said: "We do not allow the trade of drugs and the account in question has now been removed."
Instagram said: "We use a mix of technology and human review to remove content and accounts as quickly as possible. We work with law enforcement and youth organisations to help support our community and keep drug sales off our apps."
The Department of Health and Social Care said: "We are committed to tackling root causes of drug misuse and will bring forward an ambitious drug strategy later this year."
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