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What is rainbow fentanyl? Colorful pills prompt new warnings about deadliest drug in US

A whole new wave of concern has swept across the United States, over the colorful “rainbow fentanyl” capsules, powders and lumps — which look sweet or sidewalk chalk — purchased and used in many states. Threat, which undoubtedly poses a threat to young people.

However, moms and dads of young children shouldn’t panic too much, the arrival of this new product is just a small part of a larger opioid disaster.

Rainbow Fentanyl is available in shiny colors and can be made into tablets or powders containing illicit fentanyl, a potent man-made opioid that should be overdose in the event of someone trying to overdose to achieve drug success Taking them makes them incredibly addictive and unquestionably deadly.

The colorful fentanyl may appeal to young people or make them idiots to think it’s protected, but experts say illegal fentanyl has long been hidden in seemingly disparate commodities, and fentanyl is fentanyl— It’s all harmful, rainbow or not.

“Colored fentanyl capsules have been around for years. Sometimes blue capsules labeled ‘M30’ to counterfeit oxycodone, which is a much weaker opioid,” says NYU Langone Health Associate Professor of Resident Health Joseph Paramar said he studied the development of illegal fentanyl, in an email to CNN.

“I think the big difference that people worry about is accidental ingestion. People worry that their kids will definitely be taking one of these capsules because they think they’re another drug, or even some form of sweet,” Paramar said. “I don’t think the color of the capsules greatly increases the chances of someone not using fentanyl, but any time someone using fentanyl is likely to leave their capsules within the range of kids.”

He added: “We have to remember the fact that these capsules are priced in cash, so people don’t drop them on the ground for young people to look for. I don’t think people are going to give these capsules away as Halloween candy.”

The origin of the rainbow fentanyl warning

The Drug Enforcement Administration warned the public in August of the “shocking rising pattern” of “colorful fentanyl available in the United States.”

The company said at the time that it and its law enforcement partners seized colorful fentanyl and fentanyl capsules in 18 states. In response to the DEA, fentanyl remains America’s deadliest drug threat.

However, the DEA did not specify in its announcement whether rainbow fentanyl can cause overdose or death in young people.

“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl capsules and powders, available in a variety of sparkling colors, sizes and styles — is a deliberate attempt by drug sellers to promote the habit of young people and young adults,” DEA Administrator Anne Mill Gram said in an August announcement.

Since then, some schools and colleges have warned college students about the existence and risks of rainbow fentanyl, and the California Department of Welfare has reminded Ok-12 college superintendents in the state that rainbow fentanyl is “a whole new model.” “.

At Colorado Youth Hospital in Aurora, doctors found that every young teen and teen was exposed to more fentanyl, CNN said Friday, the hospital’s pediatric toxicologist Dr. Samwang said. Although he and his colleagues are aware of the rainbow fentanyl warning, he hasn’t heard any patients or parents point it out.

Fentanyl is fentanyl anyway, whether it’s inside a rainbow-colored capsule or a white powder.

“It just came out in a unique way, it’s definitely more appealing, it’s more noticeable because it’s definitely a pleasing outcome,” said Wang, an associate professor of pediatrics from the Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado. .

When young people use illicit drugs, they often have no idea what they actually contain or how harmful the substances might be.

In the case of rainbow fentanyl, “fentanyl itself has the same drawbacks as generic fentanyl. We don’t know a lot of that — it could be different. We don’t know the nature of fentanyl,” Wang said. “Thus, those considerations still carry over to this product. It now looks like it’s a possible danger to young people, after which it will be more appealing for people to use it and be punished appropriately.”

The rise of fentanyl

For years, the U.S. has been experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic — and wave after wave of opioid overdose deaths, from a surge in prescription opioid overdose deaths in the early 2000s to heroin overdose deaths in 2010 and not long ago. The death toll soared. Starting in 2013, there has been a surge in human-made opioid overdose deaths driven by high-potency fentanyl.

Pharmaceutical-grade fentanyl is an artificial opioid designed to help patients (reminiscent of most cancer patients) deal with extreme pain. It is 50 to 100 instances stronger than morphine and is usually prescribed in a skin patch or lozenge type. However, recent fentanyl-related injuries, overdose, and deaths in the U.S. have been linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Management and Prevention.

The latest information means there has been a 44% increase in annual drug overdose deaths compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic. About 76,000 deaths were reported in the 12 months to March 2020. The latest preliminary information from the CDC shows more than 109,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in the 12 months ending March 2022.

In the year to March 2022, man-made opioids and fentanyl were linked to more than two-thirds of overdose deaths. According to the CDC, there has been a staggering 80% increase in man-made opioid-related deaths compared to the past two years.

Rainbow fentanyl has attracted attention due to the shiny colors of the merchandise, but the illicit fentanyl contained in the merchandise represents a continuation of the ongoing opioid epidemic. One difference between Rainbow Fentanyl and previous fentanyl products appears to be the coloring.

“Its colors are just to distinguish commodities. If we had a regulated market, they could be differentiated in a few ways – we don’t. Co-founder of Opioid Safety and Naloxone Community, Treatment Alliancea Various Harm Maya Doe Simkins, co-director of the discount team, said making naloxone more accessible.

Simkins contrasted the radically different colors of rainbow fentanyl with the way people have previously used dietary coloring in heroin, which he or she says are often used to differentiate batches.

“It’s just your product, my product, or the difference between this batch and the next,” she said.

Growing fentanyl seizures

Illicit fentanyl has long been lurking in the drug, and its presence appears to be on the rise.

The types of fentanyl-containing powders and capsules seized by U.S. law enforcement firms increased between 2018 and 2021, according to a study published in May in the prestigious journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The amount of powdered fentanyl seized increased from 298.2 kg in 2018 to 2,416 kg in 2021, and the variety of capsules seized increased from 42,202 in 2018 to 2,089,186 in 2021, in response to inspections, its principal creator Paramar Yes.

“We found not only an increase in fentanyl seizures, but also an increase in the proportion of capsules confiscated along with the proportion of fentanyl complete seizures. Capsule seizures increased from 14% in early 2018 to 29% by the end of 2021,” Parra said. Marr wrote in an email to CNN.

“We have no data on what these confiscated capsules were purported to be, but we believe that many were disguised as oxycodone or even Xanax,” he wrote. “The rapid increase in seizures of these counterfeit capsules indicates a growing supply that will continue to expand.”

With this enhancement, counterfeit capsules are more durable, but Paramar said people could use their check strips to detect traces of illicit fentanyl if they thought about it.

“Individuals should buy fentanyl test strips for as little as a dollar. Most of these test strips are designed for urine testing, but if used properly, they will detect the presence of fentanyl,” says Paramar wrote.

“I like to advise anyone planning to use an illegally purchased tablet or powder, reminiscent of cocaine, to check the drug before using it,” he added. “There’s also a whole bunch of newer fentanyl analogs and different opioids that can be very harmful and undetectable by check strips. I think check strips give some people a false sense of security, but they’re one thing .”

CNN Wire™ & © 2022 Cable Information Community, Inc., Warner Bros. Discovery. all rights reserved.

What is Rainbow Fentanyl?Colored capsules immediately issue new warnings about America’s deadliest drug

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