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Special to the News-Standard

This Halloween holiday, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the Drug Enforcement Agency is 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.

The Drug Enforcement Administration warns the public of the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. International and domestic criminal drug networks are mass-producing fake pills, falsely marketing them as legitimate prescription pills, and killing unsuspecting Texans. 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 Halloween holiday, it is especially important that parents stay informed on this epidemic. One of these most prevalent trends currently involves rainbow-colored pills that have been laced with fentanyl and designed to attract younger kids. “We know friends and families will be especially excited to spend time trick-or-treating with their kids this year,” said Trinity County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Health Agent Deborah Alvarenga. “Unfortunately, we as a community must be aware of the dangers out there related to illicit substances. This is a real threat to our children, and it is our responsibility to protect them.”

It’s important that parents understand, one pill containing fentanyl can kill.

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 said in a statement. Rainbow fentanyl is a drug in the form of a pill or powder that is brightly colored to look like candy and appeal to children and young people. Rainbow fentanyl is also being produced in blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk. This is dangerous as a child could easily mistake this fentanyl block for a piece of sidewalk chalk.

Ahead of Halloween, local authorities are warning parents to keep a close eye on trick-or-treat baskets, as just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose, per the DEA. Any candy-looking substance will get a lot of attention as Halloween nears, so parents should be on the lookout and kids should be reminded never to eat unpackaged candy without having parents inspect it first.

The bottom line is this: Never accept any candy, pills, or other substances you believe to be tampered with or laced with fentanyl because One Pill Can Kill.

By working together, we can save lives and help keep each other safe. Please join us in spreading this important message for the Halloween holiday, One Pill Can Kill.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Pearce, Watch UR BAC Program, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, by phone 979-321-5333, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit One Pill Can Kill at dea.gov.

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