The United States Drug Enforcement Agency warns of 'rainbow fentanyl'

According to the DEA, drug overdoses are the main cause of death among Americans aged 18-45 years old.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency warns of  'rainbow fentanyl'
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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has warned about the rise of “rainbow fentanyl,” a candy-colored version of the illegal opioid.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DEA issued a formal warning to the public to be aware of the “emerging trend” of the colorful fentanyl pills appearing around the country. The pills are also available as blocks and powder that bare a resemblance to sidewalk chalk.

According to the DEA, drug overdoses are the main cause of death among Americans aged 18-45.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl available across the United States,” the DEA stated in its press release:

In August 2022, DEA and our law enforcement partners seized brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 18 states. Dubbed ‘rainbow fentanyl’ in the media, this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.

On August 17, police at the port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, seized more than 15,000 fentanyl pills strapped to a drug courier’s leg, the Daily Wire reported. On August 16, police seized more than 250,000 of the pills, along with 11lbs of heroin and 10lbs of meth. 

Similar pills have also been seized in Washington D.C., Oregon, and other states over the past year and a half.

Fentanyl is the drug of choice produced by the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which traffic the illicit narcotic through the southern border from Mexico.

“Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” stated DEA Administrator Anne Milgram in the press release. 

“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,” Milgram added.

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times stronger than morphine, and can cause a lethal overdose with only 2mg, the equivalent of 10 to 15 grains of table salt.

In 2021, 107,622 Americans died from overdosing – the highest on record. The figure is expected to rise in 2022.

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