Police warn of 'rainbow fentanyl’ pills aimed at kids

The Drug Enforcement Administration says it has noticed an increase in use of the drug and that it is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction among children.

News 12 Staff

Sep 8, 2022, 9:32 AM

Updated 646 days ago

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Nassau County police are alerting the public to the alarming trend of brightly colored versions of fentanyl known as “rainbow fentanyl.”
Police say the drug is bright-colored pills and powders sometimes designed to resemble sidewalk chalk.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says it has noticed an increase in use of the drug and that it is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction among children. 
Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. 
Linda Ventura, a mother who lost her child to an overdose, says it is crucial for parents to speak with their children about this drug.
“No one wants to join the club I belong to, because I don't have a photograph of Thomas past the age of 21, and I don't want anyone else to be in that club,” she says. 
Ventura says while struggling with the loss, she has taken that pain and turned it into a promise for a bright future for other kids through Thomas' Hope Foundation.
Ventura says fentanyl is prominent on the streets, and the most important thing is that parents are open with their children about potentially deadly drugs. 
“It's making your kids aware and age-appropriately talking to them about the outcome of taking something that you don't know what it is,” she says. 
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds adds, “The most important thing is a conversation about drugs and alcohol with your kids, it doesn't have to center on fentanyl. Most kids don't start with that, they start with vaping, tobacco, alcohol."
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman says they have distributed information to school districts countywide to get the word out about the fentanyl now being made to look like candy.
Because it is so deadly, experts warn if you suspect something is fentanyl to call police and not touch it. The candy shaped and colored drug is not currently on Long Island but is spreading in other parts of the nation. 
“Sometimes we see these things on the street, and it takes months before the public becomes aware of it. So, the fact police are ahead of this is good, and it helps foster a conversation about how dangerous it is out in the community,” Reynolds says. 
The New York State Office of Addiction Support and Services has more information about fentanyl on its website.
Reynolds says there are fentanyl test strips that can be used to see if it is in other products. He says advocates are pushing for legislators to require the widespread distribution of fentanyl test strips throughout the state.


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