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Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Rainbow Fentanyl Hoax

Keegan Hamilton at VICE:
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, law enforcement agencies across the country—from the DEA down to local police—warned parents about “rainbow fentanyl,” a new version of synthetic opioid pills that come in yellow, green, pink, and other colors. Parents needed to remain vigilant, authorities said, otherwise the drugs might somehow get mixed into kids’ trick-or-treat bags along with bags of Skittles and mini Snickers bars.

But now, two days after Halloween, there hasn’t been a single report of candy mixed with fentanyl, rainbow variety or otherwise. It seems either the warnings worked perfectly or all the fuss and bother was unjustified drug war fearmongering.

In response to a VICE News inquiry about whether there had been any incidents of kids being unintentionally exposed to fentanyl on or around Halloween, a DEA spokesperson sent previous statements and press releases, including a comment from the DEA's administrator saying, "We’ve seen nothing that indicates that this is going to be related to Halloween."

Other police agencies went so far as to issue statements debunking rumors and making it extra clear nothing nefarious happened with Halloween candy.

“Important message: Social media posts claiming that fentanyl-laced candy has led to deaths of young people in the City of Buffalo are not accurate,” Buffalo police announced Nov. 1 on Twitter. “Buffalo police & fire have no reports of incidents at this time.”