facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Teen marshmallow thrill can kill

Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Teenagers are using common holiday baking ingredients -- cinnamon, nutmeg and even marshmallows -- to get a cheap thrill or a high, a U.S. toxicologist says.

Dr. Christina Hantsch, a toxicologist in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Loyola University Health System near Chicago, said the hospital recently treated a dozen pre-teen children in its emergency room.

"A group of 9-year-olds were trying to do the Cinnamon Challenge," Hantsch, a former medical director of Illinois Poison Control, said in a statement. "One girl had seen the videos on the Internet and wanted to try it with her friends."

Hundreds of videos and postings on the Internet have made it a social media sensation, Hantsch said.

The Cinnamon Challenge involves trying to swallow 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon without water.

"The dry, loose cinnamon triggers a violent coughing effect and also a burning sensation that actually can lead to breathing and choking hazards," Hantsch warned. .

In the first three months of 2012, poison centers received 139 calls concerning this spice hazard, Hantsch said.

"In Chubby Bunny, you stuff as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible and then try to say the words Chubby Bunny," Hantsch explained. "Two children have actually choked to death attempting this game so it is not to be taken lightly."

Meanwhile, ground nutmeg has been snorted, smoked and eaten in large quantities to produce a marijuana-like high.

"Nutmeg contains myristicin which is a hallucinogenic, like LSD," the toxicologist said.

Other common household products that are also being abused are hand sanitizer, aerosol whipped cream, aerosol cooking spray, ink markers and glue, Hantsch added.

Topics: Marijuana
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Enterovirus 68 now sickening children in Northeast Enterovirus 68 now sickening children in Northeast
2
NFL players have 30 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's or dementia NFL players have 30 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's or dementia
3
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
The brain takes special notice of winning The brain takes special notice of winning
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback