Fentanyl Distributed in Hawai‘i Now Made to Look Like Rainbow-Colored Candies
Hawai‘i’s High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency issued a drug threat bulletin that a shipment of suspected powdered fentanyl was smuggled into and distributed on Hawai‘i Island along with a large amount of rainbow-colored counterfeit pills containing the suspected synthetic opioid.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reported in August 2022 that law enforcement partners seized brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 18 states. Dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” in the media, officials say this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.
The suspected powdered fentanyl has resulted in a high number of overdoses, with multiple fatalities, DEA stated. The federal agency describes fentanyl as a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
The bulletin was issued to raise community awareness and advise first responders, substance abuse users and their families to carry and be prepared to administer naloxone, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of an overdose. Law enforcement and first responders also should have access to necessary personal protective equipment.