Special Alert: 1-20-2008
Why do we allow businesses to promote and profit from drugs and drug names? - Part 2
Again, I am writing to ask you to THINK; Take A STANCE; Be More PROACTIVE!
Hershey’s Ice Breakers Pacs are dissolvable pouches that look like the packaging many drug dealer’s use, (very small heat-sealed bags) when selling Cocaine, Heroin, or most powder drugs. Pacs, which hit the stores in November of 2007, are Hershey’s newest line in Ice Breakers mints. The package on the right is candy. Fox 29 News
They are similar enough to drug packets that a child familiar with the candy could mistakenly swallow a heat-sealed bag of drugs, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector William Blackburn told the Philadelphia Daily News for an article published Friday. (11/30/07)
The pouches are so realistic they even fooled Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector William Blackburn. "Being in narcotics the majority of my career, I thought it was the real stuff," said Blackburn.
What if children use them and subsequently stumble upon and ingest a real bag of drugs?
What if a drug dealer mixed some in with real street drugs and sold them to an unsuspecting buyer?
What if a teenager took them to school how would a teacher differentiate it from drug packets?
A spokesman for the company pointed out that each pouch - made by two dissolvable mint strips - bears the Ice Breakers logo. Even though each pouch has a small Ice Breakers logo on it, it should be pointed out that drug distributors too will often brand their drug so it is recognizable to the users.
Judge Dumas Brooks can imagine another scenario: the undermining of drug busts made on visual observation of money changing hands for colored packets of powder.
"This potentially could give them a legal out," said Judge Dumas Brooks. "It's terrible. It's terrible."
Family Court Judge Dumas Brooks wanted to make sure she wasn't overreacting. So she held the small blue packet of powdered substance in her palm and showed it around at work yesterday.
Everyone asked the same thing:
What was she doing with cocaine?
"I thought she confiscated it in the courtroom," said Administrative Judge Kevin Dougherty.
"I think some strong community groups, groups with parents that have lost a loved one should unite together and petition this company and demand that this product be taken off the market," Chief Inspector Blackburn said.
Every community; the people, the businesses, the schools and political leaders need to join together to end this type of marketing. We need stores, media companies that advertise these products and the businesses themselves to realize that society will NOT engage in their businesses if they continue to glamorize drugs and their usage.
I have included a picture of Cocaine and Crack packaged in normal size drug trafficking bags. I have also included pictures of Heroin, powder and with packaging. The last two pictures are of Pacs and an unknown drug.
Written by: Dr. Ellen E. Vachon, NYSCASAC
Jill Porter-Philadelphia Daily News
Dr. Ellen Vachon-EV Trainings
Fox News Philadelphia
My Fox Philadelphia
Jack Salley- PHX News
DEA- Photo of Cocaine DEA Photo Crack
DEA – Photos of Heroin
Hershey’s Ice Breakers Pacs
Candy or a powered drug?
Police say they cannot tell! – Can You?
(The right side is a candy.)
Why do we allow businesses to promote and profit from drugs and drug names?
I am writing to ask you to THINK; Take A STANCE; Be More PROACTIVE!
I am writing in regards to two companies in particular. They both have opened within the past six months. They both use dangerous drugs names to promote their products. They seduce their users into using - from the promises that the drug is known to enhance.
The two companies I am writing in reference to are: Meth Coffee and Redux Beverages.
Redux Beverages started producing an energy drink that is labeled “Cocaine” (9/06), it comes in a red can with white lettering- (perhaps a marketers’ idea of a representation of the powder form of Cocaine- the drug.) Meth Coffee is a brand new company (1/07) out of S.F. California. The company sells hyped up coffee (coffee with yerbamate added- which is a natural stimulant and antioxidant) over the Internet and in some well-guarded locations along with merchandise to promote Meth Coffee.
These products only promote the continued use of these drugs. They suggest that it is okay to use drugs, that it is cool! and glamorize their use. If society, particularly: teens/twenties believe it is okay to use these products and look for the enhancing effects of the drugs they will inevitably link the two acts together. They will look for the drug induced pleasure, their association with the drug while consuming these drinks.
Both Meth and Cocaine are highly addictive drugs- stimulants. They are drugs the entire country/world is fighting. Every community can attest to the devastating affects drugs has had on it. They can speak of health issues, increasing crime rates, an explosion in STD or HIV/AIDS, cost of living, the list goes on and on.
To allow business’s to promote their products at the cost of our children/society is not acceptable to this writer or to the Southern Tier of NY Methamphetamine Prevention Program. I am asking you to participate, and send this email endorsing that you are against such practices. http://americansfordrugfreeyouth.org/
advertise mainly to the young consumer (teens/twenties). They pitch their
advertisements to appeal to the law-abiding citizen. Maybe, someone who is
familiar with drugs- Meth/ Cocaine or the youngster who is thinking I might be
cool if I used drugs. According to an interview given to the Associated Press,
Hannah Kirby, wife of Redux Beverages founder James Kirby, said “ We knew kids
would find it cool, but we also wanted to stress the idea that it's an energy
drink -- you don't need drugs". Last I checked caffeine is a drug and Cocaine
has 280 milligrams of caffeine per can,
Examples of the advertisements are:
With the case of Cocaine – the liquid energy drink, the company and founder (James Kirby) says: “the company has added an ingredient that would slightly numb the throat in order to add an oral sensation like the drug cocaine”. Marketed to give the user a “ High” coupled with a tingling euphoria; that will arrive within five minutes.” On their website the headlining is “Cocaine-Instant rush-No Crash!” “Cocaine is a legal alternative”- to a class A drug. Distributors are referred to dealers, the advertisements warn the buyer to “use at their own risk”, some show buyers purchasing from the backs of cars.
With the case of Meth Coffee – The website reads:
Mind-altering euphoria! Nail you’re a**
to the chair with Meth Coffee, a smooth, rich roast supercharged
with maximum caffeine and dusted with yerba mate, a powerful natural stimulant.
here, friend, I can sell you ten ounces, but I am warning you, this is powerful
Employees go by code names like "The Roaster" and "The Driver," and use a "dealer" system to help sell their stash
This raises the question of the limitations of the law. Politicians, Substance Abuse professionals, and parents are up in arms over the sale and marketing of these products. 7-11 stores have responded to the outbursts and NO longer offer Cocaine- the energy drink. The sellers do not seem to argue that they are targeting anybody other than the youth market.
Mission District resident Jeremy Leaird-Koch posted before-and-after pictures of one Meth addict on his online journal. "I wholeheartedly agree that there is some 'powerful shit' going on here, but it's not the effects of the coffee," he wrote. "It's this recent scourge of marketing amphetamines as a fun, hip product." He calls the marketing tasteless and clueless — and says any company based in a city with a longtime Meth problem should know better.
New York Councilman James Sanders, Jr. had this
quote in the New York Times:
Joseph Califano Jr. chairman and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University said: “putting a product on the market that glamorizes an illegal and addictive drug like cocaine is irresponsible and reprehensible.” Cocaine is a life destroying addictive illegal drug, and has over two million Americans addicted to it.
UC Davis nutritionist Dr. Louis Grivetti said, "Personally, I would not support the suggestion that an energy drink be marketed with this name [Cocaine]. What kind of stupid message does the name send to university students and to the general public?"
Health Hazards: Cocaine contains 280 milligrams of caffeine per can. To put that in perspective, caffeine per ounce in a Starbucks double-shot coffee is 20 milligrams. In Cocaine, it's 30 milligrams. In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Danielle McCarthy of Northwestern University said caffeine that is taken to stay awake is having harsh consequences. "Young people are taking caffeine to stay awake, or perhaps to get high, and many of them are ending up in the emergency department,'' she said. "Caffeine is a drug and should be treated with caution, as any drug is.'' The high amounts of caffeine in Cocaine have opposition groups worrying that overuse will contribute to long-time health hazards.
Meth coffee contains 99.99% Arabica coffee beans and yerbamate. It is certified organic. (Yerbamate)- An August 11, 2005 United States patent application (documents #20050176777, #20030185908, and #20020054926) cites yerba mate extract as an inhibitor of MAO activity; so there is information that suggest yerbamate has a calming effect.
The U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine noted that yerbamate can cause high blood pressure when used in conjunction with other MAO inhibitors (such as Nardil and Parnate).
Side effects of:
Caffeine is mildly
addictive and linked to a number of health problems if drunk in excess. It can
inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals and increase their excretion
from the body. This removes vital nutrients from the body and impacts on their
critical role in the body's metabolism.
Cocaine: Cocaine reaches the brain within seconds, resulting in a sudden and intense high. However, the euphoria quickly disappears, leaving the user with an enormous craving. The user usually increases the dose and the frequency to satisfy this craving, resulting in addiction and physical debilitation.
Cocaine's effects appear almost immediately after a single dose, and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Taken in small amounts (up to 100 mg), cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert, especially to the sensations of sight, sound, and touch. It can also temporarily decrease the need for food and sleep. Some users find that the drug helps them to perform simple physical and intellectual tasks more quickly, while others can experience the opposite effect.
Users often report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety and cocaine can trigger paranoia. Users also report being depressed when they are not using the drug and often resume use to alleviate further depression. In addition, cocaine users frequently find that they need more and more cocaine more often to generate the same level of stimulation.
Meth: Long-term methamphetamine abuse has many damaging effects, including addiction., chronic abusers exhibit symptoms that include violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Meth abusers also display a number of psychotic features, including paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions i.e. -"formication” the sensation of insects creeping on the skin. The paranoia can result in homicidal as well as suicidal thoughts.
Cocaine –the energy
drink as well as Meth Coffee, have expanded across the Internet, occupying
myspace.com accounts and websites –drinkcocaine.com and methcoffee.com
Written by: Dr. Ellen E. Vachon
References: ABC News, CBS News, News.com, EV Trainings, Wilipedia- Encyclopedia, Dailymail.com, L.I. of B. (10/06)
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