By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
September 16, 2022
State and federal law enforcement officials are warning the public about a colorful but deadly street version of the drug fentanyl that appears to be candy or sidewalk chalk and has been found in 18 states, including North Carolina.
Dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” due to its appearance, it appeals to children and teens and has been seized in multiple forms, including powder, candy-looking pills and blocks that look like kid-friendly sidewalk chalk.
The Cherokee Indian Police Department seized 18 grams of rainbow fentanyl last month and arrested two individuals. The fentanyl was purple.
Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Just two milligrams of fentanyl — that is, a dose the size of 10-15 grains of salt — is considered to be lethal.
Of the 107,622 Americans who died of drug overdoses in 2021, two-thirds of them (66 percent) involved opioids such as fentanyl, the DEA said. Drug poisonings are the leading killer of Americans ages 18 to 45.
Each day, more than 150 people die from overdoses related to opioids like fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Fentanyl is everywhere. From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison. We must take every opportunity to spread the word to prevent fentanyl-related overdose death and poisonings from claiming scores of American lives every day.”
Although a legal form of pharmaceutical fentanyl is used in the United States to treat severe pain, the illegal form is being supplied primarily by two drug networks: the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), DEA said.
The Cherokee Indian Police Department charged Anthony Keith Welch, 37, with possession with intent to sell/deliver drugs and with possession of drug paraphernalia. The department charged Billy Joel Brady, 54, with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rainbow fentanyl also has been found in West Virginia and Oregon in recent days. In Morgantown, W.V., law enforcement seized candy-colored pills that were stamped with “M/30.” In Portland, Ore., officials seized fentanyl that looked like “thick pieces of brightly-colored sidewalk chalk,” the Department of Justice said.
“We will relentlessly pursue drug dealers who are targeting our youth with drugs disguised as candy,” said FBI agent Mike Nordwall. “These pills may look harmless, but they are potentially deadly. We ask the community to talk with your children about the dangers of illegal drugs and to not take something if they aren’t sure what it is or where it came from.”
Fentanyl produces relaxation, euphoria, sedation, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, urinary retention, pupil constriction and respiratory depression. Signs of overdose include stupor, changes in pupil size, “cold and clammy” skin, cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin), coma and respiratory failure leading to death.
Street names for fentanyl include Apace, China Town, China Girl, China White, Goodfellas, Dance Fever, He-Man, Great Bear, Poison and Tango & Cash, according to the DEA.
“It’s quite common to think that such dangers are far away and, in somebody else’s yard, only to be surprised to learn it’s in our own. This dangerous form of fentanyl is being sold to our kids – right here in North Carolina,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Parents need to speak to their children about it. Moreover, we need to pray earnestly for a society, like our own, that is so drug saturated children are the targets of drug traffickers. Oh God, save us.”