"Strawberry Quick" Meth Just an Urban Legend

Though still dangerous, it's just a colored version of the drug, say officials

Strawberry Quick drug warning
Viral Image

A viral message has been circulating since 2007 warning of a purported new, candy-flavored form of methamphetamine targeting young people called "strawberry meth" or "Strawberry Quick" meth. Paraphrasing the great American writer and humorist Mark Twain: "The emergence of a new and deadly form of pink meth is greatly exaggerated." Read on to learn how the rumor got started, what folks on the internet are saying about it, and what drug enforcement authorities say are the facts of the matter.

Example Email

Following is an example email that appeared on June 6, 2007:

Subject: Strawberry Meth

I have been alerted by one of our EMTs for our volunteer fire department that they have received emails from emergency responder organizations to be on the lookout for a new form of Crystallized Meth that is targeted at children and to be aware of this new form if called to an emergency involving a child that may have symptoms of drug induction or overdose.

They are calling this new form of meth "Strawberry Quick" and it looks like the "Pop Rocks" candy that sizzle in your mouth. In its current form, it is dark pink in color and has a strawberry scent to it.

Please advise your children and their friends and other students not to accept candy from strangers as this is obviously an attempt to seduce children into drug use. They also need to be cautious in accepting candy from even friends that may have received it from someone else, thinking it is just candy.

I don't want this email to scare anyone, but as a parent, coach, volunteer firefighter and friend, I thought it would be best to share this with you, so you can once again talk to your children about the effects of drugs and how easy it could be to take drugs without knowing it, until it is too late. I worry, just as each of you do about kids and drugs and all the problems our kids today are faced with. So please talk with your children about this newest threat to get children addicted to drugs!


Take care, God Bless and I've said a prayer that none of our kids will ever be faced with taking or being addicted to drugs!

Analysis: A New Form of Meth?

Drug enforcement officials confirm that pink-tinted varieties of crystal meth do exist, but reports of strawberry-flavored methamphetamine (Strawberry Quick) remain unsubstantiated.

In March 2007, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced it had received reports of drug traffickers offering candy-flavored methamphetamine for sale in western and midwestern states from California to Minnesota in the form of colorful crystals resembling Pop Rocks.

The first such report had been issued three months earlier by the Nevada Department of Public Safety after samples of what narcotics agents believed to be strawberry-flavored meth were confiscated in a drug raid. State officials speculated that illegal drug manufacturers were experimentally reformulating crystal meth by adding strawberry and other sweet flavorings to make the bitter-tasting, highly addictive stimulant more attractive to potential teenage customers.

"Flavored" vs. "Colored" Meth

After several months of following up on these reports, however, DEA officials told reporters they "hadn't seen much" in the way of actual seizures of flavored methamphetamine and that the DEA itself had yet to seize or analyze any of the stuff at all.

As of June 2007, experts were speculating that local drug enforcement agencies may have confused samples of colored meth — which is quite common and accounted for by dyes present in the raw ingredients — for what they took to be a new flavored variety of the drug.

Jeanne Cox, executive director of the Meth Project Foundation, summarized the quandary in a statement to the drug policy website JoinTogether.org: "We are all still trying to figure out what's going on with strawberry meth and if it really exists."

Just Another Email

By 2008, the DEA essentially quashed the rumor, stating:

"Although flavored 'hard' drugs (notably 'strawberry meth') have received extensive press in the mass media, to date very few such exhibits have been submitted to the DEA Laboratories."

Also in 2008, DEA public affairs officer Barbara Wetherell, said the agency had found no evidence to substantiate that Strawberry Quick or any other form of flavored methamphetamine exists. "This is an urban myth," she told ColumbusLocalNews.com in a story published on Oct. 31, 2008. "We surveyed all of our offices ... and we found nothing. This is just one of those emails."