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DEA Warns: Drug Cartels Targeting Children with "Rainbow Fentanyl"

October 07, 2022

According to a news article published on, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued a warning to parents to watch out for deadly "Rainbow Fentanyl" disguised as candy. The DEA issued several warnings concerning the "rainbow fentanyl" risks on social media and its website. DEA administrator, Anne Milgram, appeared on Fox News to teach parents how to be proactive when discussing this crisis with their children.

Approximately 250,000 "rainbow fentanyl" tablets were seized at the Port of Nogales in Arizona last July. The "rainbow fentanyl" pills are described as being bright-colored and appearing to look like candy. Millions of other fentanyl capsules were seized from the Port of Nogales last July, and the DEA believes that drug cartels are trying to traffic more of these illicit drugs to other parts of the nation.

The DEA reported that  fentanyl is "the deadliest drug threat facing this country." Only two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. This is about the size of "10-15 grains of table salt." 

In Connecticut, federal law enforcement authorities arrested two men who used Nerds candy boxes and Skittles candy bags to store and sell the pills. This has the DEA and parents worried that these "rainbow fentanyl" pills could end up in trick-or-treat bags.

Mothers Against Drug Addiction & Deaths, Tanya Tilghman, advises parents should watch out for what goes in their kid's trick-or-treat bag. She also recommends that parents educate their children on drugs such as fentanyl should they face these drugs at parties. Ms. Tilghman stated that teenagers go to parties, and some teens use drugs or bring drugs. Tilghman believes that candy-looking pills at parties will be consumed, leading to deadly consequences. 

Tilghman also urges parents to keep an eye on what their teens bring home. This can also endanger younger brothers or sisters. Should teenagers leave the pills out, a little brother or sister might find them and consume the drugs and die due to overdose.

Associate professor in the Department of Population Health at New York University Langone Medical Center, Joseph Palamar, stated fentanyl is very dangerous. He worries that children could find these drugs and think that the pills are candy. The DEA states that rainbow fentanyl can be pills or powders that come in several bright colors, sizes, and shapes.

Customs and Border Protection agents in Arizona who seized more than 15,000 fentanyl pills believe this could be the beginning trend of drug dealers targeting younger people. 

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