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May 23, 1996

Mother Sells Baby For Coke
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

MAR VISTA, CALIFORNIA - Andrea Sloane has an addiction so severe that it cost her her youngest child. "I was desperate," she said in a recent jailhouse interview. "I really needed that rush. And this was going to keep me supplied for months."

"We've had a lot of cases of women selling their children for drugs," Los Angeles Police Detective, Nathan Ferber, said at a press conference just hours after the arrest, "but this is the first time to our knowledge that a woman has sold her child for soda pop."

Sloane, weighing in at a hefty 348 pounds, wasn't always a sugar addict. "I used to weigh 125," she says, her voice mournful. "But it was when my youngest, Scott, was about four that I got hooked. One day at breakfast he was really enjoying a bowl of Captain Crunch, so I decided to try some. Soon I was up to a three-box a day habit. I was going koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs."

They come from every race, religion, and walk of life. In Sugar Alley a run down section of Hershey, Pennsylvania, the most severe addicts congregate to shoot up with Bosco and snort Kool-Aid powder. One can watch suited executives and tattered junkies alike slump against the wall as that sugar rush first hits, then they get really really hyper. And while stoners and trippers worship musical figures like Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, who do sugar addicts worship? Homer Simpson.

Though many addicts quit after they've hit rock bottom, it's hard for these addicts to do that, says addiction expert Jim Wheeler. "Cocaine has a street value of over thirty thousand dollars a pound. Get addicted and you'll lose your house pretty quick. Sugar, on the other hand, can go for as low as 89 cents a pound on sale. Your major expense is buying bigger clothes." And quitting? "It's nearly impossible. Normal addictions like tobacco, heroin, and crack can be avoided. But what doesn't have some form of sugar in it?"

And as for Andrea Sloane, what will happen to her? Yesterday she was visited in jail by diet guru Richard Simmons, and the makers of Equal have contributed heavily to her legal defense fund. "From now on, it's nothing but Cheerios and Crystal Light for me," she says. "Yup, I'll never go back to Coke or chocolate again." Then her eyes glaze over and a string of drool dribbles from her mouth. "Mmmmm... chocolate." Homer strikes again.

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