Parents are being warned about “rainbow fentanyl” that can look like candy and “powder” that looks like sidewalk chalk as Halloween approaches.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., recorded a PSA (Public Service Announcement) this week, saying drug cartels are targeting America’s youth.
The fentanyl crisis is wreaking havoc in West Virginia and communities throughout the nation and poisoning and killing Americans at record rates, she said.
“The powerful drug cartels are coming after your kids, your neighbors, your students, your family members, and your friends,” Capito said in the PSA. “Fake pills laced with fentanyl are beginning to look like candy in an effort to lure young Americans. This is also known as rainbow fentanyl,” and it can come in “a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes.”
Capito said that, according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), the pills are a “deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.”
“Even just handling these pills or powders disguised as candy can kill a person,” she said. “All it takes is one pill, or enough powder to fit on the tip of a pencil, to poison and kill someone.”
Capito said that in the past two years 10 tons of fentanyl has been seized at the southern border.
“Of course, we know much more made it across the border and into communities like yours undetected,” she said. “We know fentanyl is in our neighborhoods because it is killing Americans at record rates – over 150 people per day. This is the deadliest drug our nation has ever seen.”
Fake prescription drugs like Percocet, oxycodone, Xanax and Adderall are also being laced with fentanyl, she added.
“Most people don’t know that drug traffickers are selling fake pills that look nearly identical to legitimate prescription medicine,” she said. “And, most people don’t know that just one pill can kill.”
Capito said the epidemic is exploding, which is why people should join forces at Halloween and protect each other.
Suggestions include allowing kids to only take candy from trusted neighbors, family and friends.
“Set a curfew for trick-or-treaters,” she said. “Always double, and triple check, their candy for drugs, or suspiciously packaged or unpackaged items.”
Kids should also be reminded to trick-or-treat in groups and check in with parents periodically.
“By working together and being on high alert this Halloween, we can help put an end to the drug traffickers that are driving addiction and poisoning our neighbors and children,” Capito said.