Health experts are warning the public to be vigilant when traveling, particularly in #Mexico. The reason? They found that soft drinks in the northern Mexican city of Mexicali were tampered and contaminated with #methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant drug.

In the medical bulletin released by Banner Health, emergency department physicians and medical toxicologists are on “high alert” following the reports that #7Up bottles in Mexicali were laced with methamphetamine. According to Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director Dr. Daniel Brooks, it’s very important for people to check the seal of any food and drink before consumption.

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Brooks stressed that the seal should be “intact” and with “signs of tampering.” He added that if people notice any difference or changes in smell, taste or color, the food or drink should be discarded. Meanwhile, the health experts said that meth was found in 2-liters 7Up bottles.

Victims

The consumption of the laced sodas could be life-threatening. Baja California’s Attorney General of Justice revealed that the contaminated soft drinks have already killed one person and sickened seven other individuals, Coloradoan noted.

The department also made an announcement through its official Facebook account that the authorities have launched an investigation to determine how the sodas were tampered and contaminated with the drug.

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Baja California’s Health Department officials, on the other hand, announced that the soft drink products have been removed from the market.

No laced 7Up in the U.S.

Amid the warning, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group spokesperson Chris Barnes reassured that the 7Up products sold and distributed in the United States and its territories are safe and have not been affected or contaminated with meth. Barnes added that Dr. Pepper Snapple, which owns and licenses the 7Up brand in America, does not distribute, sell or market the brand “internationally.”

Methamphetamine and the side-effects of the contaminated drinks

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that often comes in the form of a pill or a “white, bitter-tasting powder.” The drug increases the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a natural chemical that involved in body pleasure, motivation and movement, DrugFacts reported.

Meth a.k.a chalk, crank, ice, speed or crystal can be taken by smoking or inhalation, swallowing (pill), snorting or through injection of its powder form that has been dissolved in alcohol or water.

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As for the side-effects of meth-contaminated drinks, Banner Health revealed these include the following: nausea or vomiting, fast or irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, burning to the esophagus or abdomen and irritation of (or abnormal taste in) the mouth or throat.

Tainted drinks in Mexico

Meanwhile, this is not the first time that the authorities discovered the existence of drug-laced drinks in Mexico. In July, the U.S. State Department has also warned travelers over the possibilities of “tainted or counterfeited” alcoholic drinks in the country that caused “blacking out and sickness.”

Furthermore, it was not also the first time 7Up drinks have been contaminated with a potent drug. As per Ars Technica, the soda contained lithium citrate when it was first released in the 1920s.

The publication explained that lithium citrate is a “mood-stabilizing psychiatric drug” used as a treatment for manic depression in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There were also some theories claiming that 7Up was named after lithium’s atomic mass.