SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Law enforcement agencies on the West Coast are sounding the alarm about rainbow-colored fentanyl, which they say may be marketed to minors.
“To be clear, all fentanyl purchased on the street is deadly, no matter the color, shape, size, or form,” Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire stated in a press release. “Yet we find this rainbow-colored substance is one of the many tools that dealers are using to make the poison appeal to our kids. Any form of narcotic that does not come from a doctor’s prescription could be lethal, but we want the community to know these multi-colored powders are one of the trends we are seeing in the fentanyl market.”
The Placer County DA’s office states that sales are happening over Tik Tok, Instagram and Snapchat, and that fentanyl “can come in the form of fake prescription pills, off-market vape pens and are even being reported to be found in marijuana.”
The office is conducting a campaign, One Pill Can Kill, to alert youth to the dangers of drug products laced with fentanyl.
“Fentanyl has changed the landscape – what was once considered harmless experimentation can lead to death,” Gire stated. “Kids trying pills they believe are something else are dying the first time and it is absolutely devastating.”
The feds are sounding the alarm, too.
“A version seized recently in the Portland area resembles thick pieces of brightly-colored sidewalk chalk,” the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon stated in an Aug. 26 press release. “Some versions seized elsewhere in pill or tablet form resemble candy. If you or someone you know encounter any version of fentanyl, please refrain from handling it and call 911 immediately.”
KRON ON is streaming live
Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate, is between 30-50 times stronger than heroin. A 3-milligram dose is enough to kill an average adult male, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It is believed to be the cause of more than three-quarters of all U.S. drug overdose deaths, of which there were over 100,000 in 2021 alone.
“Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat we face today,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Acting Special Agent in Charge Jacob D. Galvan from the Seattle Field Division stated. “It doesn’t matter what color, shape or form it comes in; just two milligrams of fentanyl – the equivalent of 10 to 15 grains of salt – is enough to kill someone. DEA’s Portland Office is seizing record amounts of fentanyl and we will continue this important work because we know American lives are at stake.”