Police warn of drug-laced candy as students head back to school

COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Last week, police in Columbus arrested four people after reports they were selling drugs that look like candy.

The men arrested include Parker R. Broady, 21, Darrion G. Phillips, 18, and Terrell A. Davis, 18. The fourth suspect is 17 years old.

Police are sending a warning to parents in the area before school starts in less than two weeks.

"It’s important that parents understand, yes, this substance is out there," said Columbus Police Department Lt. Matt Harris.

This is the second arrest in the county for drug-laced candy since April. In that case, a 17-year-old was also arrested.

The drugs, being called "Xanie Tarts" are Sweet Tarts with liquid Xanax dripped on top. They look like regular candy and police say it's difficult to tell the difference between the two just by looking at it.

In May, authorities in Greenfield recovered more than 100 drug-laced Sweet Tarts.

"It is very concerning that there are substances out there that look just like candy and if ingested can be harmful to you," Lt. Harris said.

Police said they're working with school resource officers to notify them of new drug trends. A spokesperson with the Bartholomew Consolidated School Cooperation said they haven't seen this drugs in their schools:

"We work closely with students and families and community agencies to acknowledge our concerns and to address the needs.  We meet regularly with law enforcement and court services to discuss what we are seeing in our community."

Columbus Police said parents need to pay attention to who their kids become friends with when they head back to school.

"That’s one of the first things we see when young persons start dabbling in these substances that are harmful, a new set of friends, their behaviors change, their interests and hobbies are no longer things that they once were," said Lt. Harris.

If you are offered candy, police recommend you only take it from people you know and only if it's in its original packaging.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders. Side effects include:

  • Drowsiness and feeling tired
  • Slurred speech, lack of balance or coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling anxious

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