As we know one of the lead killers in the world of drug addiction is fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is designed to help patients who have severe pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and even in small doses it can be lethal. Fentanyl is involved with 90% of drug overdoses in America.
Apparently two Mexican cartels, The Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation are mass-producing fentanyl pills in rainbow colors as a way to brand their products but also to use colors and dyes to mimic candy either in pill form or in powder form. It actually looks like some of the hard candies that we market to children!
Recently federal authorities found over 15,000 of these rainbow pills in a lego set carried by a woman in New York, one of the largest seizures of the drug in New York City. This idea of using colors to disguise these lethal drugs is considered a new low even for drug cartels.
One reason this has become a major concern is that Halloween is all about candy for children. These pills and powders appear candy-like in color and texture. This rainbow fentanyl could easily be disguised as candy and given to children or teenagers with intent to addict them but even more alarming is knowing this particular drug can be lethal.
Our DEA has issued warnings about these substances on the street or in situations where candy could be available to our kids. It is essential that parents and adults who are supervising Halloween parties, etc. be aware that rainbow fentanyl is being circulated by these drug traffickers.
It is also important that staff in schools, treatment centers and other places where teenagers are congregating, be aware of this dangerous and emerging trend where rainbow fentanyl is being circulated.
These realities are extremely frightening, but it is better that we raise our awareness than to have a tragedy happen to one of our kids because we were not informed. For those of us who work with children and teenagers, let’s be vigilant about the threat of rainbow fentanyl.
It may save the life of a kid that we care about.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO