Food by VICE

A Pharmacy Handed Out Antipsychotic Meds to Kids on Halloween

For reasons which aren't entirely clear to Quebec City police officers, the pills eventually got mixed in with the sweets.

by Nick Rose
Nov 2 2015, 10:00pm

Photo via Flickr user Kristy Johnson

As trick-or-treating and costume parties finally wind down, we begin to hear the real horror stories of Halloween.

From razor blades in Snickers bars to GMOs in pretty much everything, there is no shortage of threats lurking in Halloween candies—in addition to the usual diabetes-inducing, pancreas-wrecking sugars which fuel the entire suburban-pagan ritual.

READ: Stop X-Raying Your Kid's Halloween Candy

But thanks to an aloof pharmacy technician, an entirely new class of treat has made its way into loot bags and pillowcases this year; bipolar meds.

After a client of a Quebec City pharmacy accidentally dropped her son's bipolar medication, which was wrapped in a blister package, other clients picked up the fallen pills and put them back next to a nearby candy basket. And for reasons which still aren't entirely clear to Quebec City police officers, the pills eventually got mixed in with the sweets.

"So, unfortunately, we don't know how, an employee just mixed it with the candy by accident and distributed it to the kids," Const. Melissa Cliche told the CBC, adding that seven of the pills ended up in the hands and bags of trick-or-treating children.

READ: Your Favorite Halloween Candy Is Chock-Full of GMOs

Drug-laced candies are another trick (and treat) that make parents freak out every year but they are a statistical anomaly and usually limited to trace amounts of edible weednot over the counter prescription drugs. But the pills in this case in this case turned out to be Quetiapine and Divalproex sodium, the former of which is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression while the latter is a powerful anti-epilepsy drug.

In concert, these heavy duty meds are used to treat the dramatic mood swings characteristic of bipolar disorder, but they also can also have heavy duty side effects like trembling, nausea, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

Needless to say, this caused a real scare for parents in the Quebec city area. Despite missing a rare chance to study the calming effects of antipsychotics on masked and sugar-addled children, police eventually reported that the medication had been found and none were ingested by the children.