Back to Africa Check

Alarming message about Nigerian schoolkids eating new ‘strawberry’ drug a hoax

A new drug known as “strawberry quick” is being handed out to kids in schoolyards, a message on Facebook claims. The post has been shared over a million times so far.

It says the drug is a form of the stimulant crystal methamphetamine, but looks like strawberry pop rocks – the candy that sizzles and 'pops' in your mouth. It also comes in other flavours, it adds.

“They are calling it strawberry meth or strawberry quick. Kids are ingesting this thinking that it is candy and being rushed off to the hospital in dire condition.”

The message contains disturbing pictures of a child with a disfigured mouth, supposedly a result of taking the drug. Various shapes and colours of the “candy” are also shown.

“Please instruct your children not to accept candy from strangers and even not to accept candy that looks like this from a friend,” it warns.

But Nigerian authorities told Africa Check that they have not been notified of any incident to do with a “strawberry” drug in the country’s schools.

"We've not had any report about a form of strawberry crystal meth or 'strawberry quick' being given out to kids as sweets," Jonah Achema, a spokesperson for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, said.

It’s also a well-travelled hoax, as other fact-checkers have found. The message has been circulating in various forms through different countries from as far back as 2007, determined.

US authorities have repeatedly confirmed that they have not seized any flavoured meth. While there are cases of coloured meth, there is little evidence that it is deliberately flavoured by dealers to target children. Any colouring is a result of its manufacturing process or, in one case, of a dealer trying to evade police. - Lee Mwiti (8/11/2018)


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.