The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a warning about a new version of the synthetic drug fentanyl that comes in bright colors and resembles candy.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency recently identified this new trend in which “rainbow fentanyl” comes in bright colors and in many forms, including pills, powder and blocks that can resemble sidewalk chalk or candy.
Fentanyl is an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and 40-50 times more potent than heroin. As a result, it is a leading cause of overdose for unsuspecting individuals.
Officials warned that any pill (regardless of color, shape or size) that doesn’t come from a healthcare provider or pharmacist could contain fentanyl and could be fatal. Often people who buy these pills do not know that they contain fentanyl.
According to the DEA, this version appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to teens.
One of the ways schools and districts can be prepared for the possibility of an overdose on a school campus is by having naloxone on hand, a life-saving drug that reverses an opioid overdose. Visit the SDCOE website to learn how to obtain this drug.
Also available to schools and districts across the province are drug prevention education resources, including presentations aimed at increasing our youth’s perception of harm around opioids, marijuana and other drugs. You can learn more about this program on the SDCOE website or contact host Rocky Herron directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In San Diego, there were more than 1,100 overdose deaths in 2021, compared to 976 in 2020. In 2021, 22 under-21s and 12 teens under 18s died from overdoses. Statewide, the statistics are more alarming.
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths aged 10-19 years in California increased from 2018 (54 total) to 2020 (274 total), which represents an increase of 407 percent over two years. years, largely driven by fentanyl. In addition, the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths aged 10-19 years in California increased from 2018 (36 total) to 2020 (261 total), a 625 percent increase.
If you come across fentanyl in any form, do not treat it and call 911 immediately.