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‘Rainbow fentanyl’ makes its way to La Plata County

Law enforcement warns synthetic drug is being marketed to appeal to children
Rainbow fentanyl has made its way to La Plata County, and parents should be aware of what to look for. (Courtesy of Drug Enforcement Agency)

Batches of bright, multicolored fentanyl have made their way into La Plata County, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chris Burke.

“It’s been in the area about a month,” Burke said. “Fentanyl can be pressed into any color. They’re just as deadly as the other tablets. Any form of these pills is deadly.”

Burke said most fentanyl doses come in blue tablets but can be in any color. The pills are the size of an aspirin with an “M” on one side and the number 30 on the other.

Since August, the DEA and law enforcement have seized rainbow fentanyl from 26 states, according to the DEA’s website. The trend to dye the pills in bright colors is done to make them look like candy to young people and children.

“Rainbow fentanyl is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction among kids and young adults,” said DEA Administrator Ann Milgram in a news release.

Despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, DEA’s laboratory testing has disproved there is any difference. Every color, shape and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous, Milgram said.

With Halloween around the corner, Burke has a some advice for parents and their children regarding what to keep and what to throw out.

“Trunk-or-treating is always a safer option to trick-or-treating because you know the people better,” Burke said. “Parents should also dispose of any unwrapped candy. Any substance that’s not identifiable, throw it out. Get rid of it. Don’t even touch it. If there is anything suspicious, contact law enforcement.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the DEA website. Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose, and it remains the deadliest drug threat in the U.S. to date.

molsen@durangoherald.com

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