In one of their recent stories, The New York Times talks in comprehensive detail about how fentanyl is causing a record number of overdose-related deaths in New York City. Over the past two to three years, the number of deaths caused by such drug overdoses has only been increasing in NYC.
The Times article also unveils a harrowing fact. The surge of such drug overdose-related deaths seen during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was no anomaly. If anything, it was a sign of things to come.
California’s Department of Public Health reported a similar increase in deaths caused by Fentanyl overdose. The report presented by the department brought us face to face with another grim reality. This opioid drug is quickly infiltrating the ranks of our younger generation as the overdose death rate among teenagers is quite high.
NBC News reported something similar where it showed how fentanyl had led to a spike in teenage drug overdose deaths. As if things were not bad already, a new kind of fentanyl, called “rainbow fentanyl,” has been making headlines recently as this colorful variant of the drug is being used to lure in not only teens but also kids.
That being said, what exactly is rainbow fentanyl, and how can you protect your family from it?
What is Rainbow Fentanyl?
On August 30, 2022, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a statement warning citizens about the growing use of “brightly-colored” fentanyl to target the youth. This brightly-colored fentanyl has since then been often referred to as rainbow fentanyl by the media, as well as the general public and concerned authorities.
Drugs like meth and heroin have long dazzled the interest of curious youth for ages now. However, it seems that today’s younger generation is more fascinated by the idea of “aesthetic-looking” drugs.
Whether it is a generational thing or an abundance of these drugs because of the opioid crisis that has led to this situation is something we are not yet certain about. What is certain, though, is that these opioid drugs are now taking over neighborhoods across California, New York and other parts of the U.S.
When looked at from a distance, rainbow fentanyl looks like candy. However, they are actually synthetic opioids. When compared to drugs like heroin and morphine, rainbow fentanyl is 50 and 100 times more potent than them, respectively.
What has authorities most concerned regarding this drug is that because of its colors, kids are likely to mistake them for candy if they ever come across them. This is why the DEA was raising awareness last year during Halloween to make sure that kids do not end up consuming rainbow fentanyl by mistake if they are given these drugs when out trick or treating.
Risks of Fentanyl Addiction
Like the States, the Canadian government is growing more and more concerned regarding the rise in circulation of fentanyl. As explained by Global News, this fentanyl presence has made dealing with street drugs more difficult for the concerned authorities in Canada.
In fact, in a recent meeting with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, President Joe Biden had to assure them that his administration is doing whatever was necessary to take this drug and its smugglers off the streets and make sure that they do not reach the U.S. borders in any way or form.
Biden’s concerns are totally valid because drug overdose is a major problem. If you overdose on pills, you welcome a ton of medical complications, like permanent brain damage and mental health problems, like aggressive behavior, into your life. Substance abuse is never without any bad consequences, and in the case of opioid overdoses, the risk factors are more jarring than ever.
Here is a detailed overview of the risks associated with fentanyl consumption and addiction.
- Fentanyl will cause extreme happiness but will then be followed by confusion and drowsiness.
- Once the initial high passes and the happiness fades, the consumer is likely to feel nauseated. They will also continue to feel drowsy and confused.
- A fentanyl consumer will have to deal with constipation and sedation at some point.
- They will also have trouble breathing. Overdosing on the pills can also make them unconscious.
- Overdosing on fentanyl can also cause hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition where your brain is deprived of oxygen. This happens because fentanyl consumption can lead to breathing problems. As a result, the brain fails to get a sufficient amount of oxygen necessary for normal functioning, which can lead to hypoxia.
- Hypoxia can cause coma and even permanent brain damage. In a worst-case scenario, this condition can also cause death.
Given how scary the outcomes of fentanyl addiction are, you must do everything you can to protect your family and loved ones from it.
Ways to Protect Your Family
Drugs appeal to a lot of people for many different reasons. That is why you need to understand how you can protect your family and loved ones from fentanyl and raise awareness regarding the impact it has on their lives.
Firstly, you must take care of your children. For the ones under the age of 13, make sure they do not consume anything resembling candies unsupervised. This should be especially ensured during the Halloween season.
As for teenagers, help them understand the impact opioid drugs like fentanyl can have on them. Share the details about how these drugs can impact their lives and health.
Secondly, keep an eye out for any warnings raised in your neighborhood regarding the distribution of fentanyl. These warnings will come to you via your local police department or through the DEA. If you come across such a warning, be extra careful regarding your kids.
Finally, if you realize that fentanyl has somehow entered your household and is being consumed by someone in your family, get them immediate medical attention. Also, talk to the local law enforcement authorities so that they can identify the dealers and get them off the streets.
As is the case with most other drugs, fentanyl is causing havoc right now. However, by understanding the risks this drug poses, you can help your family and loved ones stay away from it. It is a growing menace right now, but if it can be stopped in its tracks, we can avoid a fentanyl epidemic.