Is Rainbow Fentanyl Targeting Teens?

Targeting teenagers with colorful (and a lot of the time flavored) products is a well-known marketing tactic. However, this trend has now spread to market harmful substances like the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl. Amid the biggest Opioid overdose epidemic in America, multi-colored “rainbow fentanyl” has recently emerged and has been seized by authorities.2 With Halloween fast approaching and candy on our minds, parents, and teens should be on the lookout for this new—and potentially deadly product.

Rainbow Colored Pills

An alarming new trend has emerged in recent months as brightly colored fentanyl pills and powder have been seized on the West Coast by law enforcement.2 Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. It is considered the “deadliest drug threat facing this country” by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 1

Research on the psychology behind color and flavor has found that youths perceive fruit-flavored e-cigarettes as less harmful than regular tobacco-flavored ones. In fact, a 2016 study found that across the nation, youths 13 to 17 years old were more likely to try sweetly flavored e-cigarettes over tobacco- and alcohol-flavored e-cigarettes if a friend offered them. 1

The same logic is now being used by drug dealers. According to DEA administrator Anne Milgram, it is a “deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.” As we get closer to Halloween and the candy craze, candy sure looks like smarties.3

Opioid Epidemic

In 2021, more than 107,000 people died of a drug overdose in the United States. 66% of those deaths were related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. For Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, drug poisonings are the leading cause of death. In Clark County alone, 226 people died from a fentanyl overdose, including 6 children under the age of 18.3

The DEA has seized thousands of pills suspected of containing fentanyl off the streets of Las Vegas, NV. Some of those dangerous pills could have been pressed right in Las Vegas. 3

America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and this emerging brightly colored fentanyl could make this horrific crisis even more deadly, especially for youths. If you suspect someone is having an opioid overdose or if you encounter fentanyl in any form (pill or powder), call 911 immediately.

National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month and as we continue to look to the future during the opioid epidemic and recent DEA alarm bells over multi-colored fentanyl, it is important to remember that there is hope and treatment options available for people with opioid addictions. With the right treatment, long-term recovery is possible.

Desert Hope Treatment Center is an industry-accredited drug rehab in Las Vegas, NV that has supported thousands in their recovery journey. In addition to specializing in drug and alcohol addiction treatment, Desert Hope offers co-occurring disorder treatment.

If you are looking for rehab in Las Vegas, NV for you or your loved ones, reach out to one of our admissions navigators available 24/7 for more information on how to get help for you or your loved one and the admissions process.

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