DEA warns that drugs can appeal to children and young adults India News, The Indian Express

DEA warns that drugs can appeal to children and young adults India News, The Indian Express

Earlier this week, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warned against rainbow pills containing fentanyl. The brightly colored, small, candy-like pills are used by drug cartels to target children and young adults, the DEA reports.

“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes — is a deliberate attempt by drug traffickers to encourage addiction in children and young adults,” a DEA representative said in the statement.

The pills are highly addictive, potentially fatal, and were seized in 18 states in August. The DEA also seized powder and chalky colored fentanyl made to resemble sidewalk chalk, the statement said. There are concerns that some colors of the drug are more potent than others, but the DEA’s lab tests suggest it isn’t.


Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine, can easily overdose a person after ingesting the smallest amount. Just two grams of fentanyl, which is about 15 grains of table salt, can be fatal. And because of its potency and its ability to be masked in something else like a rainbow pill, it’s currently the deadliest drug in the United States.

Medical experts urge that parents know the symptoms of an overdose and start talking about drugs with their pre-teen and teenage children as soon as possible. Symptoms to look out for include: difficulty breathing, vomiting or gurgling sounds, muscle laxity, purple or bluish fingernails, and a clammy feeling. If you know someone who is experiencing these symptoms, it is vital that you call 911 immediately.

Experts also agree that it’s more important than ever to talk to your kids about the importance of never taking a medicine or pill from anyone, not even a friend.

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The director of the Penn State health promotion and wellness program emphasized the importance of this in a recent warning to college students about the rainbow fentanyl. The warning read: “Unless a drug is prescribed by a licensed medical professional and dispensed by a legitimate pharmacy, you can’t tell if it’s fake or legit.”

Have open and honest conversations with your children about drug use and remind them that medications prescribed by a licensed health professional are the only type of drugs they should be taking.

Nemours Children’s Health, a leading pediatric research organization, recommends talking with your children as young as eight years old about the harm drug use can cause. For children in their teens, they suggest making a written or verbal contract about the rules around drinking or drug use, and enforce it from day one.

“They can ask you more specific questions about drugs,” the site says. “By discussing this with your teen from the start, you can make your expectations clear and make sure they feel safe coming to you.”

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