EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Drug Enforcement Administration is advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl available across the United States.

In August 2022, DEA and law enforcement partners seized brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills in 18 states. 

It’s dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” and the DEA said this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.

“Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.  “The men and women of the DEA are relentlessly working to stop the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in the United States.”

Carlos Briano, the public information officer of the DEA El Paso division, said they have seen forms of these brightly-colored Fentanyl pills in the area.

Brightly-colored fentanyl is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resembles sidewalk chalk.

Despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, there is no indication through DEA’s laboratory testing that this is the case.  Every color, shape, and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous.

If you encounter fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911 immediately.

In September 2021, DEA launched the One Pill Can Kill Public Awareness Campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of fake pills.  Additional resources for parents and the community can be found on DEA’s Fentanyl Awareness page.

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