DEA warns of ‘Rainbow Fentanyl’ meant to target younger populations

It's not a coincidence the new "rainbow fentanyl" looks like candy
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Drug Enforcement Agency is warning parents about an alarming trend called ‘rainbow fentanyl.’

The DEA says drug traffickers are purposefully making colorful fentanyl, known as ‘rainbow fentanyl,’ to mimic candy to attract kids and drive-up addiction rates among younger populations.

“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,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

Fentanyl is an extremely potent drug and a highly addictive synthetic opioid. A tiny amount, equivalent to 10-15 grains of salt, is enough to kill someone.

According to a Wisconsin public health advisory, fentanyl overdose deaths in Wisconsin grew by 97 percent from 2019 to 2021. Last year, synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyl, were identified in 91 percent of opioid overdose deaths.

“Five to 10 years ago, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” said Commander Kevin Warych, Green Bay Police Department. “The amount of fentanyl that we’re seeing in the community is alarming and it really should generate some conversations with your loved ones, whether they’re 10 years old or whether they’re 25 years old. It’s important that we have these conversations because we can prevent overdoses here in the Green Bay community.”

According to the DEA, fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing America. Nationwide, the CDC says 66 percent of the more than 100,000 overdose deaths last year are related to synthetic opioids, like fentanyl.

With this warning, officials also want to remind the community about the Good Samaritan laws. They are meant to encourage people to call for help if there is an overdose. The person is generally protected against arrest and charges.

The DEA warns the brightly colored drugs are intentional to attract children and young adult users