The stories are similar: before they were searched by police, young people swallowed whatever substance they had on them for personal use, to avoid “catching” additional charges. Each of us has heard them repeatedly while working with youth.
This impulsive ingestion has significant ramifications for youth, families and communities. It is particularly dangerous for youth, who may not have built up enough tolerance for the substance, or are unaware of what they have actually purchased. These youth often have already taken another drug before they encounter police, and mixing more than one substance, or taking more of the same substance, is known to lead to worse outcomes in youth.