Sometime in late August this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration sent out a press release about an alarming new trend known as “rainbow” fentanyl. According to the DEA, “law enforcement partners seized brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 18 states. Dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” in the media, this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.” The fentanyl comes in forms of brightly colored pills and powders, often in multiple shapes to look similar to sugar candy. This in itself is alarming, but now that Halloween is just around the corner it is imperative to keep a guard up and see what is being given out. These pills and powders are a clearly nefarious attempt to lure children and young adults into addiction.
The DEA reports “despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, there is no indication through the DEA’s laboratory testing that this is the case.” Every variety of this version of the drug should be considered highly dangerous. Fentanyl is currently the most deadly drug in the country. Let that sink in, it’s the most deadly drug. It’s a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Two milligrams of fentanyl, which is the equivalent to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a dose strong enough to kill.
Fentanyl is currently one of the deadliest drugs plaguing the country. According to the CDC, “107,622 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with 66 percent of those deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.” Drug poisoning and overdose is one for the leading causes of death for Americans aged 18-45. The DEA cites two major cartels responsible for supplying fentanyl: Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
It’s important to be vigilant of potential danger, especially with Halloween coming up, but there’s also no need to panic or be paranoid. Fortunately experts say it’s unlikely these pills will end up in children’s “Halloween baskets.” DEA administrator Anne Milgram says that drug cartels are using social media as a way to reach kids as well. Milgram says that “the cartels are on smartphones, and what we know without question is that most young people are aware that there are people dealing drugs on social media.” Milgram suggests that “the best strategy for prevention is to have open and honest conversations with your kids about fentanyl, how they may encounter it, and an ‘exit strategy’ if they do encounter drugs.”