Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning parents about the dangers of rainbow fentanyl ahead of Halloween.
Law enforcement agencies nationwide are seizing bright-colored fentanyl that resembles candy—some of these deadly drugs are being found in toy and candy boxes.
With Halloween around the corner, Attorney General Moody held a news conference today in Tampa to spread the word about the danger rainbow fentanyl poses to kids and young adults.
“Halloween can be scary, but nowhere near as scary as rainbow-colored fentanyl that looks like candy and can be lethal in minute doses,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “Whether these drugs are being transported in candy boxes or mixed with other common drugs and sold to unsuspecting users, the threat posed to the safety of kids and young adults is very real. Just one pill laced with fentanyl can kill, so parents please talk to your children about the dangers posed by this extremely lethal drug.”
Fentanyl is a highly lethal synthetic opioid and just two milligrams can be deadly. In the last few months, law enforcement seized nearly 85 pounds of fentanyl in Florida, enough to kill everyone in 66 of Florida’s 67 counties.
Extreme precaution must be taken as even the DEA is warning parents about rainbow fentanyl after recently seizing 12,000 fentanyl pills in popular Halloween candy packages at the Los Angeles airport, approximately 15,000 colored-fentanyl pills in Nerds candy boxes and Skittles candy bags, as well as another approximately 15,000 rainbow-colored fentanyl pills in Lego toy boxes—all within the last month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 100,000 U.S. citizens died from drug overdose deaths in 2021 alone.
Most of these deaths can be traced to synthetic opioids—fentanyl being the main catalyst. Earlier in October, a 10-month-old infant ingested fentanyl and died in Palm Beach County. In January, first responders took three Connecticut middle schoolers to the hospital after an exposure to fentanyl.
In September of 2021, a grand jury in Colorado indicted two parents after a toddler died from ingesting exposed fentanyl in the home.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said, “While children are focused on what costume they’ll wear and what goodies they’ll pick up while trick-or-treating, I urge parents to make sure to focus on their safety this Halloween. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone to walk in groups, never eat open or homemade treats, look both ways before crossing the street, and if you’re driving, please take extra caution to look out for those little ghosts or goblins.”
Families Against Fentanyl Founder James Rauh said, “Illicit fentanyl is already the number one cause of death among Americans ages 18 to 45, and now we’re seeing an alarming increase in news reports of toddlers being killed by this poison, unaware of what they’re ingesting. I commend Attorney General Moody for calling attention to this dangerous threat, and taking action to save lives from this scourge.”
While cases of dangerous substances being placed in trick-or-treat baskets may be rare, parents SHOULD ALWAYS inspect Halloween candy. It is uncommon, but there have been reports of drugs being found in trick-or-treating baskets, like in New Jersey, where a mom found heroin in her son’s Halloween candy.
In Wisconsin, a parent found meth in a trick-or-treat bag and caused an entire town to throw away gathered Halloween candy. With massive amounts of fentanyl flooding in from Mexico, we know that deadly drugs are more available than years past. Attorney General Moody suggests parents follow the safety tips below:
- Throw away any candy that has already been opened or seems to have been tampered with;
- Make sure children always remain in eyesight of parents and the other adults in the group; and
- Teach kids how to call 911 in case of an emergency.
Attorney General Moody asks parents to speak with their older children and young adults about the dangers of illicit drug use. Parents should:
- Make clear rules and consequences for children. Even if it is scary for a child, the illicit drugs are far scarier;
- Keep it age-appropriate—a drug talk with a child in middle school will be quite different from one with a high schooler or college student;
- Talk about how dangerous addiction is and how just one pill can kill; and
- Reassure children that they are free to talk about the subject at home because keeping an open conversation is a healthy way to build trust.