As Halloween is just under four weeks away, kids across the country will soon be stuffing bags with candy as they trick-or-treat through their neighborhoods.
At the same time, over 250,000 “rainbow fentanyl” pills have been seized at the Port of Nogales in Arizona alone since July. The “rainbow fentanyl” pills are bright-colored, and the Drug Enforcement Administration believes that drug cartels are targeting children and young people by making the fentanyl look like candy.
That is in addition to the millions of other fentanyl pills that have been seized from the Port of Nogales during the same time period, and cartels are attempting to traffic even more of the illicit drug into other parts of the country, according to the DEA.
The DEA says that two milligrams of fentanyl is considered lethal, which is the same amount as “10-15 grains of table salt.” The agency says that fentanyl is “the deadliest drug threat facing this country.”
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In Connecticut, two men were charged after allegedly trafficking thousands of fentanyl pills into the state, and federal authorities allege that the men used Skittles candy bags and Nerds candy boxes to store the pills.
Should parents be worried that “rainbow fentanyl” pills will wind up in trick-or-treat bags?
Tanya Tilghman, a member of Mothers Against Drug Addiction & Deaths, told Fox News Digital that while parents should keep an eye on what goes in their children’s trick-or-treat bag, they need to educate their kids on drugs such as fentanyl if they encounter them at parties.
“So let’s take, for example, teenagers. They go to parties. We all know that some of them do drugs, and they bring these drugs to party. So if you’ve got these pills floating around parties that look like candy, then people are going to take them. And they may not even know that they’re taking a deadly substance because that’s what they are. They’re deadly substances,” Tilghman said.
Tilghman also said that parents should keep a close eye on what their teenagers bring home.
“Let’s say you have a teenager and let’s say they’re out buying drugs, and they buy some fentanyl pills. They look like candy. They bring it home. They have a younger brother or sister. Parents have no idea about what’s going on. So you’ve got these little pills that have like Hello Kitties on them. And a little child sees that the teen leaves these pills out, maybe forgets to put them away. Their little brother or sister sees it. They think it’s candy. They take it, overdose and die. I think that’s pretty serious,” she added.
“They think it’s candy. They take it, overdose and die. I think that’s pretty serious.”
The mother joined the organization after her son became addicted to methamphetamine, and began “going for other drugs” such as cocaine. She said that her son is currently in jail waiting for rehabilitation treatment.
Tilghman said she joined Mothers Against Drug Addiction & Deaths to raise awareness to the youth drug addiction issue and support other parents who might be going through something similar.
Joseph Palamar, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at New York University Langone Medical Center, told Fox News Digital that there needs to be attention paid to children getting their hands on “any psychoactive pill,” but said that fentanyl is more dangerous.
Palamar added that while he thinks the producers of these “rainbow fentanyl” pills are not making them necessarily to attract children, but he is worried that children could come across them and think that they are candy.
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However, Palamar thinks that the concern of “rainbow fentanyl” pills winding up in Halloween candy is “exaggerated.”
“I’ve always found this concern to be exaggerated. I’m sure this does happen sometimes, but it is unlikely. Even if fentanyl pills were only a few dollars each, most people would likely find them too expensive to give to kids on Halloween as a sick joke,” Palamar said.
What is more concerning to Palamar is parents or siblings who use fentanyl and leave pills around, leaving the door open for kids to reach the dangerous drug.
In general, parents should be talking to their kids more about drugs.
“Parents need to educate their children more about drugs in general, but this is difficult as most parents lack drug education in general. In fact, many seem to think marijuana is as dangerous as heroin,” Palamar said. “I think parents should at least show their kids some information – like a news article – and simply warn them that these dangerous pills may be going around. It’s unlikely for kids to come across these pills, but you never know.”
Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News