4:00 PM EDT, October 21, 2011
Gummy bears may look appetizing, but this treat could come with a trick.
Parents should be on the lookout for an alarming trend this Halloween. Some teens are sneaking alcohol into parties by soaking gummy bears in vodka.
"How to" videos are popping up all over the internet.
They illustrate just how easy it is to turn a popular candy like gummy bears into a potent alcoholic concoction.
"They smell and taste like candy but they can get you drunk," says Dr. Diane Hardej, an assistant professor at St. John's University in New York.
She says gummy bears are like sponges, and demonstrated the difference between a dry gummy bear, a bear soaked overnight in vodka, and one that was soaked for two days.
Vodka gummy bears have even become fodder for late night comic Jimmy Kimmel.
He joked on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, "We finally found a way to get fat and drunk at the same time."
But Dr. Hadej doesn't think it's funny.
"Kids can become intoxicated. The gummy bears will mask the taste of the alcohol and also they're trying to avoid detection by the authorities or their parents," she told INSIDE EDITION.
The trend has gotten so bad, some school officials out notices to parents to make them aware that the gummy bears their kids are eating may hold a dangerous surprise.