Investigators with the Stephenville Police Department and the Erath County Sheriff’s Department are trying to figure out if an estimated 56 grams of methamphetamine recovered last week in Comanche is a new form of the drug commonly referred to as “strawberry quick.”

“Strawberry quick” is a new twist on an old drug that has swept the nation and is aimed at hooking a younger generation of drug users. Law enforcement officials say it’s a new gimmick spurred by meth manufacturers constantly remaking their product to keep their customer base growing.

“They’re trying to get younger and younger people addicted to it by making something a child would use,” Sheriff Tommy Bryant said.

Manufacturers use powdered drink mix to give the drug a pink coloring. The sweetness of the powder makes it taste and smell more like candy than the harsh bitterness of plain meth.

Reports indicate that candy-flavored meth appears to be spreading from west to east across the U.S.

Concern about the trend has reached all the way to Capitol Hill, where two U.S. senators recently introduced legislation that would strengthen penalties for peddlers of candy-flavored narcotics.

Bryant said the meth recovered in Comanche is believed to have been produced in Erath County. He said local investigators are following up on the case to determine if that’s true.

Investigator Donnie Hensley said he has not yet seen candy-flavored meth in the area, but suspects that if it’s not already here, it will be soon.

“Just because we haven’t seen any doesn’t mean it’s not here because it’s everywhere,” Hensley said.

Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at sara.vandenberge@empiretribune.com. Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.