Warning for parents: Rainbow-colored fentanyl found in St. Louis, young people are targeted

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A warning for parents as their kids head back to school. New rainbow-colored fentanyl is on the market, potentially targeted at younger users.

DEA Assistant Special Agent Colin Dickey says two instances of the colored fentanyl have already been found in the St. Louis metro, with concerns more could be coming.

“The cartels and the organizations that we’re looking into are always looking for any method they can to try to get an audience between the ages of 18 and 45,” Agent Dickey said. “Overdose deaths and poisonings are the leading cause of death for that age group.”

Because of that, Agent Dickey said fentanyl is being marketed in as many ways as possible. One of the new ways is the rainbow coloring.

“There’s always gonna be that threat of when something is labeled as a new drug or a new color, it’s always gonna be a threat that it’s okay to try because it’s not your ‘typical drug’,” Agent Dickey said.

There are also concerns the bright colors could confuse kids into thinking it’s candy.

The DEA is trying to get the message out to parents and other community members to be aware of this and the dangers of fentanyl.

By alerting parents and community members, they’re able to talk to their kids about it.

“Just have those open and honest conversations to make sure if your children do come across a situation like this in school or outside of school, that they have the proper information and it’s not the first time they’re hearing about it when they potentially get put in a situation like that,” Agent Dickey said.

Another warning for parents is the way fentanyl is being marketed to younger users.

“It’s done over encrypted apps and social media communications because of the younger generations and use of technology,” Agent Dickey said.

Fentanyl has killed thousands in the St. Louis region. News 4′s team of journalists dove into the crisis locally, releasing a special. You can watch Contaminated: The Fentanyl Crisis in St. Louis here.

Resources can be found here.