An upsurge of suspicion is spreading throughout the United States over multi-colored “rainbow fentanyl” powders, pills, and blocks — which are like candy and sidewalk chalk which are sold in various states, potentially inflicting danger on youngsters.
Parents of children shouldn’t panic too much as the introduction of this new drug is only a small aspect of the ongoing opioid problem.
Rainbow Fentanyl is available in vibrant shades and is available as pills or powders which contain fentanyl from the illicit market, which is a powerful synthetic opioid that makes them highly addicting and even deadly in the event of an overdose in the process of achieving euphoria from the substances.
The multi-colored fentanyl could be appealing to youngsters or trick them into thinking it’s safe, however. Experts warn that illicit fentanyl has been hidden in what appear to be different products for quite a while, and fentanyl is dangerous regardless of whether rainbow-colored or otherwise.
“Colored fentanyl pills have been around for a few years. Typically, they’ve been blue pills labeled ‘M30’ to counterfeit oxycodone, which is a much weaker opioid,” Joseph Palamar, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health who has researched patterns of illicit fentanyl wrote in an email to CNN.
“I think the big difference people are concerned about is with regard to accidental ingestion. People are worried that their kids will take one of these pills thinking they’re another drug or even thinking they’re some sort of candy,” Palamar explained. “I don’t think the color of the pills greatly increases danger to people who don’t use fentanyl, but there is always a possibility of someone who uses fentanyl leaving their pills around in the reach of children.”
The US Drug Enforcement Administration issued a cautionary statement in August that warned people of the “alarming emerging trend” of “colorful fentanyl available across the United States.”
The agency claimed that it, together with law enforcement partners, has seized vividly colored fentanyl as well as fentanyl pills in 18 states. Fentanyl is still the most deadly drug menace facing our nation according to the DEA.
However, they did not specify in their announcement that DEA did not say in its announcement if rainbow fentanyl could have caused overdoses or even deaths among teenagers.
Since then, several institutions and colleges are informing students about the dangers and potential dangers of rainbow Fentanyl as well as it is reported that the California Department of Public Health has warned K-12 school officials across the state about rainbow-colored Fentanyl as “a new trend.”
In the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, doctors have noticed increased exposure to fentanyl among young and adolescent patients. Dr. Sam Wang, the toxicologist for the pediatric department at the hospital mentioned this to CNN.
Although he and his colleagues are aware of the rainbow warnings about fentanyl, he hasn’t had any parents or patients speak about it.
The most important thing, he added, is that fentanyl is fentanyl whether it’s in colored pills that are rainbow-colored or just white powder.
The United States has been facing an opioid overdose epidemic — as well as numerous deaths from opioid overdoses for decades. It all started with an increase in deaths from prescription opioids during the first half of the 2000s. It was then a surge in deaths from heroin overdoses beginning in 2010, and, more recently, a surge in deaths from synthetic opioids that began in 2013 caused by the potent Fentanyl.
Pharmaceutical Fentanyl is a chemical opioid that is designed to aid people, like cancer patients, deal with extreme pain. It’s 50-100 percent higher than morphine and is usually prescribed as lozenges or patches for the skin. However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related injury, overdose, and even fatalities within the United States are linked to illegally manufactured fentanyl as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rainbow Fentanyl is receiving interest due to the vibrant shades of the product, but the fentanyl, which is illegal, the products contain is the continuation of the opioid crisis. The only distinction between rainbow fentanyl and Fentanyl-based products of the past seems to be the color.