Known as “Sippin Syrup” or “Sippin Syrup Kandy,” the drink comes in a dark bottle that can make drinkers feel as if they are under the influence of alcohol.
Police Chief Joe Treviño said he had been notified by a police chief in a community north of Beeville that students had been showing up in class intoxicated.
When police investigated the incidents, they found that the students had been drinking Sippin Syrup before going to class.
Sometimes abusers of the drink mix it with cough syrups or other depressants before ingesting it.
The liquid tastes like candy, and it is reportedly loaded with sugar and slightly carbonated.
One person who sampled the drink said it has a calming effect. That would be caused by several ingredients that are considered sleep aids or depressants.
The drink contains chamomile extract, lavender extract, I-theanine, melatonin, valerian root extract, rose hips extract, St. John’s Wort extract, skull cap extract and kava kava extract.
It also has 240 calories, 60 grams of sugar and a variety of vitamins and zinc.
A bottle contains two servings. Some who have drunk the liquid said it put them right to sleep.
“There is no age restriction,” Treviño said. A child of any age could buy the product.
Although Sippin Syrup usually is located on the store shelf near the energy drinks, Treviño said it is anything but an energy drink.
“If a child drinks a whole bottle of the stuff, there’s a chance he could be sick,” the chief said.
Treviño said the drink sells for about $2.50 at convenience stores. One of his officers bought some not long ago.
“At this time we’re just in the research mode,” the chief commented. As yet, the drink has not become a problem here.
“If it becomes a problem, yes, we will take measures to outlaw it just like we did with K-2.”
That product is considered a synthetic marijuana, and the city council passed an ordinance recently making it illegal to sell it in town.
“It doesn’t give you energy,” Treviño warned. “It takes it away.”
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.