No, Kids Are Not Smoking Bed Bugs to Get High
Kids are not smoking bed bugs to get high, but if you searched the internet, you’d be surprised to find a few articles that claim they are. Some of these articles claim that bed bugs contain some sort of hallucinogenic substance and since the “drug” can’t be separated from the rest of the insect, kids have begun catching the bugs, crushing them into a powder and then smoking them or shooting the bug dust.
My coworker today was telling me about kids getting high on bedbugs, so of course, I set out to prove that this was just another piece of fake news that I’m sure a lot of people actually believe. After throwing some keywords into Google, the whole first page was littered with articles about it. Some were saying it was fake while others had titles like, “There’s No Hope For Humanity: Kids Are Now Smoking Bed Bugs To Get High.” The author of that article later wrote an update that the story was, in fact, false.
According to Snopes.com, these stories of recreational bedbug use came around a few years ago after a Phoenix TV station created a “gag” news story on April Fool’s Day. It was admittedly a joke but that didn’t stop the internet from going buck wild with the story. Some of the public believed it, since it was given to them by a trusted source of information and honestly, I feel as though the public also expects some ridiculous news to come out of the drug problem in this country, so it wasn’t that far-fetched.
I wonder how many kids tried to go smoke bed bugs after that. I’m sure a few probably tried it and also ingested chemicals, pesticides, and other gross things along with it. That’s the problem with fake news. When creative writers or television stations set out to make a joke or a fictional piece, perhaps they’re not thinking about the ramifications of people taking what they’re saying seriously. There’s no reason that a major news station needs to make fake news about kids smoking bedbugs, especially in the middle of what’s being considered the biggest man-made public health crisis ever. All fake news does is creates imaginary problems that then need imaginary solutions. Families become alarmed and go on high alert, wondering how to approach a conversation about getting high on crushed up insects with their kids.
The drug problem is bad enough as is. We don’t need fake stories to make matters worse. Fake news is dangerous and not just a catch phrase. It’s a real thing that has real consequences. News stations have a responsibility to report accurate information with the public so that they’re informed. Not to lie to them and create fake problems that they need to worry about. We, as a society, have more than enough to worry about with the drugs that are already out there. So let’s turn our attention to the real problems that are going on and stop sensationalizing fake news. And please do your research. Don’t believe everything you hear and read. As a wise man once said, “question everything.”