MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) — The Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed on Wednesday that a deadly, colorful new drug has been popping up in the Miami Valley.
The drug, referred to as “rainbow fentanyl”, mimics other illicit pills but is made to look like candy and appeal to young people, DEA representatives said in a news release.
The Drug Enforcement Administration hosted a press conference on Sept. 14 in which Detroit Division Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene provided an update on recent drug trends in the Miami Valley, with a focus on rainbow fentanyl pills.
Fentanyl is an incredibly powerful drug. 2 milligrams, which is the equivalent to a dash of table salt, is enough to cause a fatal overdose, the DEA said.
“I try to emphasize that these fake pills that are coming out of Mexico; There’s no quality control in these labs. What we’re seeing is between two and ten milligrams of fentanyl. Ten milligrams, for the most part, is absolutely killing you,” DEA Detroit Division Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene said.
“It’s extremely important that folks understand the danger that it is, to ingest a pill when you do not know where it came from.”
Greene was unable to share the exact locations of where the drug has been seized in the Miami Valley but said that the pill has the potential to be in almost every neighborhood across the country.
The latest statistics show that there are at least fifty cities and twenty states that are seeing the presence of the rainbow fentanyl drug.
Greene emphasized the concern that the pills have the potential to end up in the hands of young people due to their colorful appearance and easy access.
“We should treat all fentanyl, in whatever form it is in, whatever color it is in, as if it is extremely dangerous, because it is,” Greene said.
“90 percent of the fentanyl that we seize in the United States comes from Mexico. The precursor chemicals are coming from China, into clandestine labs in Mexico where it is processed, and then makes its way across the border into the United States.”
A clandestine lab is a secret or concealed location where criminals produce or prepare synthetic drugs, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
Social media was cited as an obstacle in preventing the access of young people to the drug.
“You can order on social media. That’s a challenge for us – the fact that it’s so easy for, especially younger people, to purchase, to get access to,” Greene said.
“It’s also kids buying a pill thinking that they are buying a pharmaceutical product, where it is not. It was not made in a legitimate laboratory. It was made in a clandestine lab in Mexico from precursor chemicals coming out of China. That’s a part of the challenge as well.”
Greene advises anyone who is aware of fentanyl use to report it to local law enforcement or the DEA office.