Rainbow Fentanyl: What It Is and Why It’s Dangerous

Gabby MartinDate Posted:
Last Updated: Drug Decontamination

Key Points

  • What Is Rainbow Fentanyl?

  • What Does It Look Like?

  • States Currently Facing the Fentanyl Epidemic

  • Steps to Take After Discovering an Overdose


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In late August, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warned the public to be on the lookout for an alarming emerging drug trend. Drug enforcement agencies have found colorful pill and powder versions of rainbow fentanyl, a potent opioid. Drug cartels are using this new method to sell highly addictive, potentially deadly fentanyl manufactured to look like candy and street chalk to children and young adults.

But while the news is showing how rainbow fentanyl is threatening people’s lives, especially those who are unaware they are taking it, fewer people understand what rainbow fentanyl is, its effects once consumed, and how to protect children and unsuspecting victims from it.

Although this new drug resembles candy, don’t be fooled, it is deadly. Therefore, everyone, especially parents, must be aware of this new but deadly disguise and keep it away from their children.

What is Rainbow Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioid drugs in the United States today. What makes fentanyl even more deadly is the fact that it is a common contaminant found in other illicit substances like THC, cocaine, methamphetamine, and counterfeit alprazolam.

The strength of fentanyl is primarily what makes it an easier drug to overdose on. It is 50-100 times stronger than heroin and morphine and can be ingested in different ways. Fentanyl is a synthetic or manufactured opioid, meaning rather than being extracted from plants and other organic materials. It is manufactured in a laboratory.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding opioids since the rainbow fentanyl epidemic started. However, the drug family has strong medicinal uses and has proved effective in treating pain.

At its core, the potency and ability of fentanyl to create larger amounts of endorphins lead to extreme euphoric feelings before quickly dissipating. Its short temporary effects lead many users to seek out rainbow fentanyl to chase the same high, with the amount increasing with each consumption, often leading to an overdose.

What Does it Look Like?

As aforementioned, rainbow fentanyl looks a lot like candy and can be mistaken by children for candy and taken accidentally. Its rainbow colors also make them look more attractive to young people. The chalk or candy-like appearance makes the drug has contributed significantly to its use and abuse by children and young people.

However, by working together and constantly remaining vigilant, especially this Halloween, we can mitigate or put an end to this drug circulating in the streets.

Is It Only Pills?

According to the DEA, rainbow fentanyl comes in multiple forms and is being seized in the form of pills, powder, and small blocks that resemble the chalk people use to color the sidewalks. Drug traffickers have also found new ways to conceal this drug from law enforcement and other drug agencies.

Drug traffickers smuggle these bright-colored drugs in boxes of LEGO toys as candy. By disguising it as candy and hiding it in children’s toys, it’s much easier for law enforcement, drug agencies, and parents to miss them sometimes. But that still doesn’t hide the fact that rainbow fentanyl is a deadly drug that poisons and harms the community.

Where Are They Coming From?

These multi-colored fentanyl drugs allegedly originated in Mexico through the southern border via the regular criminal drug shipment routes. There’s no question that the fentanyl pill and powder crisis at the southern border threatens the community’s safety.

As such, drug enforcement agencies urge parents to stay vigilant and ensure they double-check their children’s candy through the near future, not just for this Halloween.

States Currently Facing the Fentanyl Epidemic

As of writing this, rainbow fentanyl has been seized in over 26 states. It was first reported in February 2022. The One Pill Can Kill initiative has allowed the DEA to seize over 10.2 million fentanyl pills and about 980 pounds of fentanyl powder.

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is a primary driver and significant contributor to drug overdose deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100,000 Americans die from drug overdose annually, with 66% of those deaths directly related to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Steps to Take After Discovering an Overdose

When experiencing an overdose of rainbow fentanyl or any other hard drug, breathing can slow down to the point of death. By reversing the effects of an overdose, you can restore normal breathing before calling the relevant medical personnel for help.

This segment provides an overview of what you can do after discovering an overdose patient or overdosing on the fentanyl drug yourself:

  • Interdict the substance or drug that is contributing to the spike in overdoses
  • Call 911 and inform them that you or someone else might have overdosed
  • Give naloxone if available (continue giving doses every 3 minutes if the patient does not respond)
  • Give rescue breaths once every 5 seconds
  • Stay until help arrives while continuing to give naloxone and rescue breaths

Because of the strengths of rainbow fentanyl, overdoses can occur much more quickly and require multiple doses of naloxone. Fentanyl overdoses are at an all-time high in the United States, leaving behind grieving families.

Have the Home Cleaned by Professional HAZMAT Teams

Bio Recovery has a team of experienced and qualified professionals with the tools to disinfect and sanitize public and private locations. No job is too big, too small, or too difficult for us to clean. The effects of rainbow fentanyl have proven to be harmful.

Bio Recovery teams offer professional, certified drug cleanup restoration nationwide to ensure the drug does not fall into the hands of children or unsuspecting victims. The deadly drug decontamination team ensures that the highest standard is met, according to all federal, state, and local regulations.

Who We Are

Bio Recovery is dedicated to promoting optimal health and cleanliness of your environment. We understand that disinfection can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. Contact us any day of the week for immediate assistance. With over 20 years experience in the field, Bio Recovery can help no matter the situation.

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