Fear Fentanyl for Halloween


Picture from nationwidechildrens.org

Sofia Mattera, Staff Writer

With Halloween right around the corner, families need to be on the lookout for what could possibly end up in their child’s Trick-or-Treat bag. Rainbow fentanyl has been on the rise and being disguised as children’s toys and candy.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used for treating severe pain, has caused 500,000 deaths in NY States. The drug is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. If one consumes too many, they may overdose, and potentially die. 

Many drug traffickers mix cheaper fentanyl with different substances such as heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine to increase their profits, making it difficult to know which drug is causing the overdose. When a person is taking fentanyl for medical purposes, they may experience withdrawals when taken off the drug. This can cause someone to start using fentanyl to feel better, even when it is not needed. When people become addicted, drug seeking and drug use take over their lives.

In an article by Hartford Healthcare, they announced that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has put a word out about the new look for fentanyl, also known as “rainbow” fentanyl. The rainbow fentanyl can be found in two forms, powder that looks like sidewalk chalk and brightly colored pills. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes that make them easy to disguise as candy. According to the DEA, drug cartels are using the brightly colored pills and social media to reach a younger generation. 

On October 5th, 2022, thousands of fentanyl pills were found seized in New York.  Latesha Bush from Trenton, New Jersey, was pulled over on 10th Avenue near the Lincoln Tunnel. The New York Drug Enforcement Task Force was able to see through the Lego boxes in the back seat of her car. They revealed the packages of pills hidden inside, disguised as Lego pieces.

Rainbow Fentanyl can replicate a variety of candies and toys. Some tips you can use to stay safe this Halloween season is making sure you know what they look like. They can come in pill or powder form. When you consume fentanyl, you may experience symptoms such as, confused or disoriented, nauseous, overcome a feeling of unexplained drowsiness, trouble breathing, or irregular heartbeats. It is good to have naloxone, also known as Narcan on you in case of this emergency. The medication can reverse a fentanyl overdose. 

Make sure to be safe and aware this Halloween season!