Why are Kids Getting Free "Heroin Needle" Pens at Urban Outfitters?
What the heck?
The mega-popular retailer is letting faux-hypodermic needles filled with faux-heroin to be given away as novelty items to children in their stores.
It's sounds crazy, but this is no "urban" legend.
One of our regular contributors, Amy Weitman, was shopping with her daughter on the tourist-friendly Third Street Promenade last week and they decided to stop in at Urban Outfitters.
The retailer has teamed up with LA's Hairroin Salon to launch pop-up salons inside select store locations so customers can snag cool hipster gear AND get their hair done.
But Weitman was shocked to see that the traveling salon was also giving away pens disguised as heroin needles to all in-store customers.
"My 12-year-old was delighted by the freebie until I explained the significance and the fact that she could face suspension if she brought her 'new pen' to school," she wrote.
"The manager of Harroin salon in Hollywood explained that these pens have been used for seven years as part of their promotional materials and they haven’t received any complaints. Apparently, I was the first."
It's hard to believe that no one else has ever taken offense - these pens aren't just tacky, they're glamorizing an incredibly dangerous drug.
The number of people who die from drug overdoses every year has been steadily rising since 1970, and it's now the second-leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States.
And as Weitman notes, "Many of heroin’s newest addicts are teenagers and young twenty-somethings who come from middle to upper class suburban families - which is also Urban Outfitters' target demographic."
How can we teach kids to "just say no" to drugs, when even their favorite store is sending the message that it's ok to say yes?
Megan Sayers is the managing editor for ModernMom. Follow her on Twitter @MeganSayers