The public was officially warned by the Drug Enforcement Administration about the rise of candy-colored “rainbow fentanyl.” The DEA issued a public alert on Tuesday alerting people to the “growing trend” of colorful fentanyl tablets becoming available across the country. The medication comes in blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk, powder, and brightly colored pills. According to the DEA, drug overdoses are the main cause of mortality for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.
As The Daily Wire reports:
“The Drug Enforcement Administration is advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl available across the United States,” the DEA said in its press release. “In August 2022, DEA and our 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.”
On August 17, authorities at the port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, seized more tan 15,000 brightly-colored fentanyl pills strapped to a person’s leg, as The Daily Wire reported. The day before, authorities seized more than 250,000 candy-colored pills, along with 11 pounds of heroin and 10 pounds of methamphetamine.
DEA officials in Washington, D.C., also seized similar-looking pills over the course of the past 18 months. The Multnomah County, Oregon, Sheriff’s Office found several grams of rainbow fentanyl in the shape of sidewalk chalk recently as well. The DEA noted that fentanyl is primarily trafficked by two criminal networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
“Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in the agency’s press release. “The men and women of the DEA are relentlessly working to stop the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in the United States.”
One of the most potent synthetic opioids now in use, fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl has a deadly dose of only two milligrams, or about 10-15 grains of table salt. It is impossible to determine the concentration of fentanyl in a specific pill or powder sample. The CDC said that in 2021, 107,622 Americans died from overdoses, which is the highest amount ever.