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Trick-or-Treat, Do You Know The Difference Between Prescription and Fentanyl Pills?

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Johanna Hicks

By JOHANNA HICKS, Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Family & Community Health in Hopkins County, [email protected]

This Halloween holiday, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are teaming up with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC program to spread awareness on the fentanyl epidemic spreading across our state.

There is an alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. International and domestic criminal drug networks are mass-producing face pills, falsely marketing them as legitimate prescriptions pills. These counterfeit pills are easy to purchase, widely available, and often contain deadly doses of fentanyl. Pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. These risks include overdose, forming new addictions, and traffic-related crashes due to impairment.

Over the upcoming Halloween season, it is especially important that parents stay informed. One of these most prevalent trends currently involves rainbow-colored pills that have been laced with fentanyl and designed to attract younger kids. Unfortunately, as a community, we must be aware of the dangers related to illicit substances. Just one pill containing fentanyl can be fatal.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Association is urging parents to be aware of rainbow fentanyl, a deathly opioid that drug traffickers are using to “drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” DEA administrator Anne Milgram states. Rainbow fentanyl is a drug in the form of a pill or powder that is brightly colored to look like candy. It is also being produced in blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk. This is dangerous because a child could easily mistake this fentanyl block for a piece of sidewalk chalk.

Ahead of Halloween, authorities are warning parents to keep a close eye on trick-or-treat baskets, as just two milligrams (which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt) is considered a lethal dose. The DEA cautions parents that they should be on the lookout and kids should be reminded never to eat unpackaged candy. The bottom line is this: Never accept candy, pills, or other substances you believe to be tampered with or laced with fentanyl because one pill can kill.

Here are few safety tips if you’re planning to head out for some fun trick-or-treating:

  1. Remember that is is never okay to accept candy that is in a broken, unsealed package.
  2. If you find s substance you believe could be fentanyl, do not touch it. Immediately contact local law enforcement.
  3. If you see someone you believe to be impaired on fentanyl or any other substance, contact local law enforcement. This includes drivers who could be impaired.
  4. Opt for safe Trick-or-Treating. Local churches are providing Trunk-or-Treat events which are provided in a safe, family-friendly environment.

Christmas Joys Holiday Program

Both sessions for the November 7th “Christmas Joys” are full. However, we have started a waiting list. We will be giving a reminder call to everyone who signed up. In the event of cancellations, we will begin contacting those on our waiting list, so if you would like to be added, give our office a call at 903-885-3443. If you are one of the lucky ones who made it on the attendance list, be sure to come!

Closing Thought

“Smile at people. If you smile, the person perceives you to be smart.”

– Vicki Hitzges, author and speaker

Contact Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent, at the Hopkins County Office at P.O. Box 518, 1200-B West Houston, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483; 903-885-3443; or [email protected].

Author: Faith Huffman

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