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Strawberry Quick drug: How much do you know?

More cases of a drug thought not to exist are being uncovered.

This was recently revealed by Quintin van Kerken from Anti Drug Alliance SA.

Strawberry Quick, a combination of sugar, food colouring, flavourants and crystal meth, was thought to be a hoax a few years ago.

An investigative journalism programme recently revealed it does in fact exist.

ER24 urges parents to be aware that this drug is said to be very accessible to children.

Parents should seek help for children immediately should it be found they have ingested the drug.

“We know that it has been in circulation for a number of months and are investigating the proliferation of the drug,” said Van Kerken.

“We are uncovering more cases almost on a daily basis.

“We have identified a number of schools in Gauteng that have been targeted.

“It is, in most cases, sold by dealers posing as sweet vendors outside of, or in close proximity to primary and high schools.”

Investigations so far have revealed that there are four flavours, namely strawberry, creme soda, bubblegum, and caramel.

Van Kerken said the flavours have varying amounts of crystal meth.

Symptoms include chattiness, nervousness, dry mouth, dilated pupils, extreme energy followed by chronic fatigue, paranoia, jaw clenching, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, increased libido, and in severe cases may include hallucinations.

Van Kerken urged parents not to allow their children to buy items from street vendors.

“If you believe your child may have ingested this drug, contact us immediately,” he said.

“Wrap the sweet up, and we will test the sweet for you.”

It is vital to find out where the child purchased the sweet or who gave it to them.

It is a known fact that drugs can affect people in a number of ways and even lead to death.

Explaining further, Doctor Vernon Wessels, from ER24, said, “Firstly, there is the direct effect of the substance in its usual dosage that can cause various effects on the heart, circulation and neurological systems.

“Typical with the amphetamines is an increase in heart rate, palpitations, sweating, nervousness, possible hallucinations and even convulsions.

“In severe cases such as an overdose, this could potentially lead to death.”

Dr Wessels added the second effect is related to the use of drugs, irrespective of the type, and the subsequent addiction.

“The sharing of needles for intravenous drugs is a common transmission mode for HIV and Hepatitis B,” he said.

“As the addiction progresses, general health and hygiene is neglected with development of common infections, for example skin and respiratory track as well as development of malnourishment.”

Addicts also become easy targets for criminals and therefore have a higher risk of sustaining injury.

There is also an increased risk of mental illness.


According to Van Kerken drug use and abuse among school children is increasing at alarming rates.

Dr Wessels said children should take note that their organs are not yet mature and the use of drugs could be detrimental on their development.

“Drugs like cocaine are a common cause of heart attacks in the younger population as the drug causes spasm of the coronary arteries,” he said.

“Respiratory depression and convulsions cause secondary damage to the brain and can in some cases be fatal.”

He added that drugs are mainly used because of the mind-altering properties.

It provides a ‘means of escape from the stresses of daily living and studying’.

This comes at a significant cost.


Drugs can impact on judgement resulting in people putting themselves in risky situations.

Actions include unsafe sex and criminal activity.

The risk of sexually transmitted diseases increases.

There is a higher risk of suicide and accidental death when unsafe acts are performed while experiencing hallucinations.


Dr Wessels said that although physical addiction usually does not develop from a single dose, there is an acceptance that if the first experience was enjoyable there will be another experience.

“Humans are naturally programmed to seek pleasure and anything that provides this will be pursued,” he said.

“With drugs, physical addiction develops rapidly and addicts find themselves having to use the drugs more to prevent withdrawal symptoms instead of just the pleasurable experience.”

Van Kerken urged parents to educate themselves about drug use among children and to make sure they know what is happening out there.

For further information on Anti Drug Alliance SA and its services call 081 577 7715 (Gauteng and inland provinces) or 072 400 8239 (Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Alternatively visit www.antidrugalliance.com.

ER24’s Emergency Contact Centre can be reached 24 hours a day on 084 124 for any medical emergency.

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