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Concerns about rainbow fentanyl are on the rise

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-27 22:11:42-04

Law enforcement, doctors and parents are all facing a new challenge this Halloween season — rainbow fentanyl.

"It's moved quickly into the younger population. We haven't seen that before and that's what makes this particularly frightening," said Dr. Rene Bravo, San Luis Obispo pediatrician.

Dr. Bravo says he knows of reports that children as young as those in late elementary school are coming into contact with the drug.

"Add to that the toxicity of fentanyl, how very toxic it is in very low quantities, then you have a real mixture for some mortal overdoses," Dr. Bravo said.

The appearance of rainbow fentanyl is especially concerning.

"Children are traditionally attracted to bright lights and brightly colored things including candy-appearing pills," he said.

Someone does not need to be a willful participant to be affected by fentanyl. The drug is so toxic that just being within close proximity can be deadly.

"Even left on surfaces or left in the powder in plastic bags, it can unwillingly affect someone as a passerby too," Dr. Bravo explained.

The Grover Beach Police Department has not yet encountered the drug but the upcoming holiday is concerning.

"Use a ton of caution, especially with the holidays and Halloween coming up. Make sure you check everything your kids bring home and everything on Halloween as well," said Commander Jim Munro, Grover Beach Police Department.

Both Commander Munro and Dr. Bravo say it's important to keep an open line of communication with your children.

"This is a conversation I've had with my own kids. You have to be very careful about what it is you're eating, who you're getting it from and making sure it's legit and it's not going to kill you," Munro said.

"You know, you don't want to take away from the children’s joy, but awareness, awareness, awareness. Know where you're going, know where your kids are getting their candy, or their Halloween treats from, and this year I think we just need to be a little bit, a lot more careful. I shouldn't say a little bit, a lot more careful," Dr. Bravo said.

If you happen to come into contact with suspected fentanyl of any kind it is best to stay away from it and contact your local police department.