‘Rainbow fentanyl’ used to attract young children by drug market
“multi-colored” or “rainbow” fentanyl, with brightly coloured strands, has recently emerged on the black market.
Following multiple suspected overdoses and deaths involving fentanyl in minors in Hays County, law enforcement organisations have issued alerts, including the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In at least 18 states, the DEA has found rainbow-colored fentanyl pills.
The DEA claims that the rainbow of colours makes them more tempting to young people, who may mistake them for candy. Anyone, even young children, can overdose and die with far less of the drug. Approximately two milligrammes of fentanyl is lethal to humans.
Synthetic opioid fentanyl is prescribed for extreme pain. Fentanyl is useful in relieving pain but also more likely to cause overdose due to its extreme potency (50 times that of heroin and 100 times that of morphine).
In several cases, illicitly produced and sold fentanyl that has been cut with heroin or cocaine has been linked to fatal overdoses.
According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of fentanyl-related deaths in Texas rose substantially between 2018 and 2021, from 214 in 2018 to 1,672 in 2021.