(KTAL/KMSS) — Each year, Halloween comes with warnings urging parents to check candy collections for anything that could harm children. This year’s concern is that rainbow fentanyl will be passed to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
There’s been a lot of national attention on what is being called rainbow fentanyl, which are brightly colored tablets meant to disguise their danger. But doctors say don’t worry.
Dr. Nicholas Goeders is a professor and chairperson of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Neuroscience with LSU Health Shreveport. He’s also the executive director of the Louisiana Addiction Research Center.
Goeders said rainbow fentanyl is not even candy, although, to some, it looks similar to candies such as SweetTarts and Skittles.
“This isn’t really a fentanyl candy. This is fentanyl that’s being made in different colors so that it looks like candy,“ Goeders said.
There’s been a lot of confusion surrounding rainbow fentanyl. Mainly that it’s supposed to target children. But according to Goeders, that’s not true.
“I do not believe they’re targeting children. I think this is an attempt to be able to smuggle more of the product across the border because if it looks like it’s something legitimate, then it might not be as likely to be seized,“ Goeders said.
Although rainbow fentanyl is not likely to wind up in the hands of young trick-or-treaters, Goeders urged parents and caregivers not to let their guards down when it comes to Halloween candy.
“Parents and caregivers should always make sure that their children’s Halloween candy is in its original packaging. That it hasn’t been opened, and it doesn’t have a bunch of loose SweetTarts or something else that they’re eating,“ Goeders said.
Goeders said the rainbow fentanyl can be easily spotted if the candy is inspected well. However, he said there’s a way you can check your children’s candy if you suspect it’s been spiked.
“The Drug Enforcement Administration put together an online pamphlet, and it’s called, “What Every Parent and Caregiver Needs to Know About Fake Pills,” Goeders said.
Goeders also suggested that parents take their children trick or treating to local church events like a trunk or treat. That way, you can have a clear conscious about where the candy actually is coming from.