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Get High on Christmas Cookies!

On their INGREDIENTS, anyway. Common holiday baking ingredients, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and even marshmallows, can be used to produce a drug-like "high."

And toxicologist Christina Hantsch says that they can "pass under the radar of law enforcers.”

A hospital recently treated a dozen pre-teen children in its emergency room who "were trying to do the Cinnamon Challenge and got caught," says Hantsch. "The Cinnamon Challenge" involves trying to swallow one tablespoon of ground cinnamon without water. "The dry, loose cinnamon triggers a violent coughing effect and also a burning sensation that actually can lead to breathing and choking hazards," but hundreds of videos and postings on the Internet have made it a social media sensation.

In 2011, poison centers received 51 calls about teen exposure to cinnamon. In the first three months of 2012, poison centers received 139 calls. 122 of which were classified as intentional misuse or abuse and 30 that required medical evaluation.

Cinnamon isn't the only dangerous spice--nutmeg is right up there too. Ground nutmeg has been snorted, smoked and eaten in large quantities to produce a marijuana-like high. Hantsch says, “Nutmeg contains myristicin which is a hallucinogenic, like LSD."

Another challenge that continues to attract followers is called Chubby Bunny. "You stuff as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible and then try to say the words Chubby Bunny," says Hantsch. Other common household products that are also being abused are hand sanitizer, aerosol whipped cream, aerosol cooking spray, ink markers and glue.

UG! Lots of us gain weight over the holidays, but mostly because we eat too many goodies, which is why Anne Strieber has a special chapter titled "Sweets" in her famous diet book.



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