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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s a sweet treat many of us love, but now chocolate is getting a bad rap after a trend has some young people snorting it to get high.
It’s not the solid or liquid form you eat, it’s chocolate powder specifically designed for snorting.
The makers, Legal Lean, are selling it under the name Coco Loko on sites like Amazon. It’s marketed as a “legal high” producing an “endorphin rush” and “calm focus.” It’s easy to find videos online of young people giving it a try, but ear, nose and throat doctor Francisco Pernas with Baptist Health tells CBS4 News it’s a bad idea.
“You can damage your nose. You can make a septal hole, a perforation, in your nose, you can get infections. Your nose can create a dependence to this kind of thing,” says Dr. Pernas.
Dr. Pernas explains that in addition to what can happen to your nose, disease can be transmitted by sharing snorting straws. He also warns about the potentially dangerous additives in the product.
“These cocoa powders, chocolate powders, they have tourine and other caffeine stimulants,” says Dr. Pernas.
Washington is taking notice. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently addressed his concerns.
“It sounds sweet but the health consequences could be anything but sweet. It’s a new product that goes where no other dangerous product has gone right before, right to the candy aisle,” said Schumer.
According to reports, the trend is making its way around college campuses.
“You never know what people are doing these days,” said a South Florida college student who didn’t want to be identified.
These products are not regulated by the FDA. Dr. Pernas believes people concerned by the trend should be asking the government to test these products for safety.