COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Bartholomew County authorities are warning parents to be on the lookout for drug-laced "Xanie Tarts" becoming popular among high school students.
The drug is made by lacing Sweet Tarts candies with Xanax, a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders.
Police said the drug-laced candies will look like normal Sweet Tarts.
According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department, an Indiana University student was charged last year with selling Xanax-laced gummy candy out of his apartment. The department says similar drug-laced candies have only recently appeared in Bartholomew County.
Sheriff Matthew A. Myers said in a press release Wednesday that "Xanie Tarts" have already been found on a 17-year-old Columbus High School student. Police also posted the information on Facebook.
"Apparently, the candy’s appearance is not changed by this process,” Myers said. “We are very concerned that someone might overdose if they eat the candy unaware that it has been laced with drugs."
Side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, slurred speech, memory problems and feeling anxious.
"As soon as I picked the kids up from school, I showed them the post and named off the candies that are possibly laced and told them to accept no candy from any kids," said Ramona English, a parent who saw the Facebook post.
Meyers said education begins at home.
"The kids are starting younger and younger on harder drugs," he said. "We want parents to have knowledge, especially when they are dealing with their teenage kids and involving drugs."
Anyone with information about drug-laced candies should contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.