DEA warns of “rising pattern” of brightly coloured fentanyl getting used to lure younger folks

The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning Tuesday about an “emerging trend” of “brightly colored” fentanyl pills used to lure children and teens. What is often called “rainbow fentanyl” has been seized by law enforcement agencies in 18 states just this month, the DEA said.

The drugs, made to look like candy, are available in several forms, including “pills, powders, and blocks that resemble pavement chalk,” the DEA said.

“Rainbow fentanyl – fentanyl pills and powder available in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes – is a deliberate attempt by drug dealers to encourage addiction among children and young adults,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement.

DEA warns
The picture called the pill “rainbow fentanyl”.

Drug Enforcement Administration


Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, can be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the DEA. Fentanyl was developed as a pain management treatment for cancer patients but has become a widely used street drug associated with thousands of overdose deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2021with synthetic opioids accounted for about 71,000 of them.

Earlier this month, Milgram told “CBS Mornings” that two Mexican cartels are believed to be responsible for the entry of fentanyl in the US

“It’s man-made,” Milgram said in an Aug. 19 interview. “So it’s important to know that there’s an infinite number of these two cartels can make. All they need is a precursor chemical that they buy from China, from this Chinese chemical company, bring it to Mexico and synthesize it in bulk.”

In July, the authorities found half a ton of fentanyl in a warehouse in Culiacan, Mexico, in what may be the largest fentanyl seizure in history. It has an estimated road value of $230 million.

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