Rainbow fentanyl pills. (DEA photo)

Federal drug agents are warning Iowa parents about so-called “rainbow fentanyl” being a potential danger to kids going trick-or-treating next month.

Emily Murray, spokeswoman for the regional U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency office in Omaha, says they haven’t seen any evidence of that controversial, colorful killer in the region.

“Whether it’s rainbow colored — which is basically just bright colors — or whether it is a fake pill that is blue and made to look like an oxycodone, fentanyl is fentanyl and it’s dangerous no matter what it looks like,” Murray says. “We know that it’s out there. We have not seen it across our division yet but we’re not naive enough to think that it’s not here.”

Halloween is a month away yet, but Murray urges Iowa parents to sort through all the candy their kids bring home before any of it is eaten. “When I was young, it used to be you were afraid that someone was going to stick a needle in a Snickers bar. Now, obviously, this is a whole new game but still a scary threat,” Murray says. “It is important to check your kids’ candy because this fentanyl, this rainbow fentanyl that’s coming across, it is made to look like bright colors that kids are going to be attracted to.”

Murray says there are some common sense steps to take, like not eating anything that’s not properly wrapped.
“If somebody pulls something out of their purse or pocket, whatever it may be, and it’s not in the original packaging, just pass, don’t take it, because it’s not worth the risk,” Murray says. “We all have positive, wonderful thoughts about our friends or family, whoever it may be, but if you don’t know 100% where that product is coming from, in this day and age, unfortunately, it’s just too big of a risk to take.”

Along with the fentanyl dangers, Murray says the agency is still seeing — and seizing — large quantities of meth in the region.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)

Radio Iowa