In an advisory released Tuesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned children and young people about an “emerging trend” of brightly colored fentanyl pills.
The DEA stated that the candy-like substances came in various forms, including “pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk.”
According to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, “Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that comes in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.”
Based on the DEA’s estimates, fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
Initially, fentanyl was created to ease cancer patients’ pain, but it has now spread to the street and been responsible for thousands of overdose deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict that more than 107,000 people have died in the United States from drug overdoses in 2021, with synthetic opioids responsible for around 71,000 deaths.
Milgram stated on “CBS Mornings” earlier this month that two Mexican cartels were believed to be responsible for the influx of fentanyl into the United States.
“It’s man-made,” Milgram said. “So it’s important to know that there is an unlimited amount that these two cartels can make. All they need are precursor chemicals that they are buying from China, from these Chinese chemical companies, bringing them to Mexico and synthesizing massive quantities.”
Authorities may have made the biggest fentanyl seizure in July when they found a half-ton of the drug in a warehouse in Culiacan, Mexico. A $230 million street value estimate.