Similar to other drugs in the past, such as synthetic marijuana, such as k2 or “spice”, with children’s cartoons on it, Fentanyl pills with rainbow coloring are now on the streets. Popping pills at parties is nothing new, however, the concern is that the risk is far higher with Fentanyl, and its strength is far higher than that of heroin. Taking Fentanyl alone is enough to kill someone, even if the dosage is minimal, such as a few grains, and mixing it with other drugs leads to an almost inevitable disaster.
Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 200,000 fentanyl pills hidden in a secret compartment of a vehicle at Port of Nogales, Arizona, Saturday.
Around 47,000 of those pills were rainbow-colored pills, which federal officials have warned is a new trend meant to drive young people to the deadly drug.
Fentanyl, a powerful opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin, was responsible for 71,238 of the record 107,000 fatal drug overdoses in the United States last year, according to the CDC.
Border officials also found 186,000 blue fentanyl pills and 6.5 pounds of meth in the vehicle, Port Director Michael Humphries said.
Fentanyl is primarily brought across the southern border by two drug trafficking organizations, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
The new brightly-colored fentanyl – which can come in pills, powder and blocks that look like sidewalk chalk – is not more potent than the traditional form, but could be more attractive to young people, the DEA says.
Customs and Border Protection officers in Arizona seized 625,000 fentanyl pills in five recent inspections, 12,000 of which were rainbow-colored, according to Humphries.
Opiates, and Fentanyl specifically, have caused havoc on Americans for decades. Since the opiate epidemic, the problem has only grown and manifested into new ways of having opiates, such as Fentanyl. The CDC has concluded that Fentanyl is the leading cause of death in Americans aged 18-45, killing over 150 Americans a day.