With Halloween close arriving, I wanted to make parents aware of a new threat. I am a physician, specifically a physician for the female body, an OBGYN. I am also a mother of two teenagers and a 10-year-old.
A few months ago, my kids had no idea what fentanyl was when I brought them to a drug talk at our local school. To be honest, I was not aware of the latest research and data. I always have known about fentanyl because of my line of work, but listening to how much power just a few granules can have was, to be honest, terrifying. I see it used occasionally with my surgical cases and it, as with every mind-altering or addictive medicine in the hospital, is highly regulated.
If you don’t know, here are some facts about fentanyl you will want to know:
- Deaths from overdoses are up 30%+, largely due to the addition of fentanyl.
- Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than heroin or morphine.
- 2 milligrams of fentanyl is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt.
- You cannot tell if another drug has been laced with fentanyl. It has no smell, taste or color.
Ruthless drug suppliers, specifically the Mexican drug cartels, only desire money from selling drugs and driving up drug addiction, and guess what? They are now targeting our children and young adults. The latest discovery by the DEA has been “rainbow” fentanyl. This highly addictive and potentially lethal drug can be found in the form of brightly colored pills, powder, or even blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk, ALL designed to attract your children and teenagers.
The DEA issued its first warning on August 30, 2022, alerting us to this new tactic to target our loved ones. The warning came after these pills were seized in 26 states since February 2022. The two most recent alerts are so alarming and terrifying. On October 4, 2022, thousands of brightly-colored fentanyl pills were found in a container of LEGO toys in New York. The drugs were tested and noted that 40% of the pills seized contained lethal doses of fentanyl. On October 19, 2022, 12,000 suspected pills were seized at the TSA screening in a Los Angeles airport, and the pills were hidden in Skittle, Sweetarts, and Whopper candy boxes and bags.
The DEA released a PSA about What Every Parent Needs to Know about FAKE PILLS.
The sheer severity of this topic begs us to have clear and open conversations with our children and teenagers. If the conversation is not being had with your children, please start now. And with Halloween close approaching, please check your kids’ candy well before letting them dig in.
For more information about rainbow fentanyl pills and other threats, please visit Get Smart About Drugs HERE.
About the Author
Geraldine St Germain is a mother of three and currently lives in Metairie with her husband David, children Noah, Mia and Samuel, and puppy dog Pepper. She practices general OBGYN at East Jefferson General Hospital. Her hobbies include tennis, choir, and she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.