How to avoid fentanyl poisoning and potential death

Maxwell Sauers, Reporter

Halloween is an iconic holiday celebrated by around 70% of Americans. The majority of people that go trick-or-treating are under the age of 16, with a prominent amount of participants being 10 and under. For many years, parents have let their children venture alone in their neighborhoods to receive candy and enjoy themselves. 

However, a couple years ago, fentanyl was found in the hands of very young children. The fear of kids getting their hands on dangerous drugs instead of candy takes the scary in Halloween to a whole new level. Because rainbow fentanyl looks like candy – specifically Smarties or Pez – it appeals to unknowing children. 

Rainbow fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs out therein fact, drug-related deaths skyrocketed after fentanyl was introduced to the market. Many other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine and different pills can be laced with fentanyl, making them much more deadly. Over 90% of opioid deaths occur because they are laced with fentanyl.

Fentanyl, usually found in powder form or even in liquid form, is 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. A lethal dose of fentanyl is the size of a grain of salt. Additionally, there is no way for a dealer or friend to know if a drug has been laced with a lethal dose of fentanyl. 

The danger with fentanyl is that it can be inserted into almost anything. Dealers are lacing all types of drugs with fentanyl to make it stronger so people will continue to buy from them,” said LBHS’s School Resource Officer Fred Yeilding.

Although this is a terrifying crisis, the reality is that many underground markets use this as an opportunity to make money. Dealers and distributors capitalize on young people’s addiction to fentanyl and expand their customers. This is why buying rainbow fentanyl is so dangerous. 

The best way to try and avoid accidental fentanyl use is to only take candy that is securely packaged. For example, don’t take a singular Skittle that is not wrapped; it might not be a regular Skittle candy. Additionally, if someone offers you a drug, don’t take it. There is a high chance that it could be laced with fentanyl. Above all else, stay vigilant and safe!

*Most in our LBUSD community read the important information shared on Oct. 7 by Superintendent Dr. Jason Vilora via ParentSquare, but Brush and Palette wishes to republish a portion of that message below as a safety reminder for all:

Things You Can Do:

  1. As always in a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
  2. If you’re concerned someone in your life is at risk for opioid overdose, carry the overdose reversal medication naloxone (Narcan). Narcan has no adverse side effects and is available without a physician’s prescription at most pharmacies. LBUSD participates in the Naloxone Distribution Project and has a board policy approving the stocking of Naloxone as an emergency intervention in our schools. 
  3. If you find any pills (images of pharmaceutical Percocet and Oxycodone can be viewed here: Percocet and Oxycodone, for reference), do not touch them. Call local law enforcement for removal. The Laguna Beach Police Department’s non-emergency phone number is (949) 497-0701. 
  4. Speak with your child(ren) about this information so they know the risks of buying or sharing prescription medication and that these pills are in the community and can lead to death.
  5. Call local law enforcement if you or your student have seen these pills. Speaking up may save a friend’s life!

We encourage all student-related safety issues be reported through the online/text available tip reporting service, WeTip: See Something/Say Something, which can be accessed 24 hours/day, 365 days per year.