Sunday, January 11, 2009

'Blue Star' LSD Tattoos

The Legend: LSD-laced tattoos with a blue star or Mickey Mouse design are being given to young children on playgrounds.

Status: False


This legend is most often seen as a flyer sent home from school or church, an article in the local paper or school newsletter, or a warning from local police department.  It is not often circulated as an email.

It often reads:  [Taken from the Internet] "A form of Tattoo called "Blue Star" is being sold to school children. It is a small piece of paper containing a blue star. They are the size of a pencil eraser and each star is soaked with LSD. The drug is absorbed through the skin simply by handling the paper. There are also brightly colored paper tattoos resembling postage stamps that have the pictures of Superman, Mickey Mouse, Clowns, Disney characters, Bart Simpson and Butterflies.  Each one is wrapped in foil. This is a new way of selling acid by appealing to young children. These are laced with drugs. If your child gets any of the above, do not handle them. These are known to react quickly and some are laced with Strychnine."

Supposedly, this is a scheme to get the kids "hooked" on LSD so they become regular customers, a doubtful notion since LSD is not physically addictive.

This particular rumor persists because well-meaning teachers, parents and police officers duplicate and distribute the flyers. The flyer often has a heading such as "Warning to Parents." There is enough true information included that even reasonable people may believe it. For example, some LSD does indeed have cartoon characters on it, and handling LSD really can be dangerous as it can penetrate your skin and enter your bloodstream that way.

During the mid-1980's when this legend was in full swing, New York State conducted a systematic examination of all police departments to determine if there had ever been even one case of children mistaking blotter acid for tattoos and accidentally getting high.  There were no documented cases.

The greatest danger to children is exposure to drug use by the adults around them, high levels of availability of drugs and alcohol in their environment, and misinformation like this.