A little boy in Galion, Ohio, got very sick on Sunday after going trick-or-treating earlier in the evening. He had a seizure and his mother took him to the hospital, where he tested positive for meth, CNN reports.
It’s a Halloween nightmare turned reality, and it’s exactly what every parent is afraid of every single October.
“He was disoriented, he didn’t know who was who and where he was at…They told me that my son had methamphetamine in his urine,” said the boy’s mother, Julia Pence.
“You could tell at the hospital that he was real high from whatever he ingested…He was really wired and kind of aggressive, had different mood swings. When we came home he was real tired, he was coming down from it.”
And on the surface, this story sounds like a parental Halloween nightmare come true. It’s right on par with needles in Halloween apples, weed-infused candies, and all those other horror stories you hear in October. But police say it wasn’t the candy that caused this illness, so parents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief.
The little boy’s fake teeth, an integral part of his vampire costume, were apparently tainted with the drug. But don’t go and throw away all your costume accessories. Police say this event is rare.
“This is an oddity,” says Brian Saterfield, Galion police chief.
Police in the area have not received any additional reports of ill kids since the town held its Sunday trick-or-treating event. Investigators know where the little boy was trick-or-treating, and no other reports of drugged kids have come their way.
Local police issued a warning to all parents on Facebook to thoroughly check not just candy, but rings, bracelets, necklaces, and fake teeth this Halloween.
The little boy is well and back home. According to Fox News, mom Julia says he is “coming down” from the effects of the drug.
Meth has become an epidemic across the US. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that there are 24.7 million abusers of meth worldwide, according to Drug Free World.
“It’s just as bad as heroin,” says Richard Kreagar, a former meth user who spoke to Cleveland.com. “They say one time is too many, and 10,000 times are never enough.”
Ohio authorities have seen a spike in meth addiction in the state lately. In 2013, 49 people died from meth or a similar overdose from a meth-like drug. In 2016, that number rose to 233. And in 2017, the number was at 526.
If meth is finding its way into Halloween accessories, clearly Ohio has a huge problem to manage.