By Tara Thompson
A major issue is sweeping the nation and not enough people know about it. A rise in what’s called ‘rainbow fentanyl,’ a brightly colored version of the synthetic opioid that dealers are using to target teens and young adults. Dealers are finding an easy way to target teenagers with pure fentanyl or fentanyl laced drugs. There has been a nationwide increase in drug overdoses over the past years and most teenagers don’t even know it. They are targeting naive students with life-threatening drugs that are more addicting than heroin, making an overdose a daily possibility.
Dr. Lembke, a Stanford professor, says fentanyl initially infiltrated the heroin supply causing people to take it accidentally. But now, that’s changed. “What we’re seeing is that people have gotten so addicted to opioids they are only seeking out fentanyl,” said Lembke, adding the synthetic opioid is 50 times more potent than heroin. “Especially young people.” In 2020, the highest rate of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Alameda County involved people 30 to 34 years old. Whereas in 2021, that demographic shifted to people ages 25 to 29 years old.
An Oakland-based nonprofit, FentCheck, has partnered with more than 40 businesses across the Bay Area to distribute test strips that detect fentanyl in places like bars, night clubs, restaurants, book clubs, tattoo parlors, and thrift shops.
If we make a petition, teenagers will sign. They’ll be angry they’re being targeted like this. Their parents will sign it not wanting their children to overdose and die. We need a petition to make fentanyl harder to produce and distribute. We don’t allow access to the chemicals someone may need to make fentanyl, only granting access to doctors and chemists to make for medical use. People need to know what this industry is doing to teenagers, putting their lives at risk just so they can get regulars and get more money from them, forcing them to become addicted and buy more and more until they eventually overdose. This problem needs to be addressed one way or another; we can’t just let these people get away with indoctrinating children.