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What is Rainbow Fentanyl?

Woman wondering, "What is rainbow fentanyl?"

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) put out a statement in August 2022 warning the public about colorful fentanyl tablets known as “rainbow fentanyl.” Some speculate that the multi-colored fentanyl pills may have been purposely made to look like candy in order to market the drug to children. With the exception of the bright colors, rainbow fentanyl is identical to regular fentanyl and just as deadly. Contact Vertava Health Ohio at 850.374.5331 if someone in your life needs the help of a fentanyl addiction treatment program.

What Is Rainbow Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is both an illegal, illicitly manufactured street drug and a pharmaceutical medication. Both types are synthetic opioids. Pharmaceutical fentanyl may be prescribed to manage severe pain after surgery or given to patients with advanced cancer. The drug is available in powder, pill, or liquid form.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, whether prescription or illegal, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

What Is Rainbow Fentanyl Potency?

Rainbow fentanyl is just as potent as non-colored fentanyl. It can cause overdose, brain damage, and death at the same rate as white fentanyl. The color does not affect the potency or the danger of the drug. While the term “rainbow fentanyl” is somewhat new, adding colorants to the drug is not a new practice.

Many drug experts question the DEA’s warning about rainbow fentanyl being marketed to children. Fentanyl producers and dealers have been using different colors, stamps, and other marks to distinguish their specific products from other fentanyl products. Marketing to children would seem unlikely, as young children don’t have access to the cash that’s needed to purchase expensive street drugs.

A larger concern may be that the shapes and colors used in rainbow fentanyl are being used to mimic the look of legal prescription medications. Either way, there is no doubt that fentanyl is a dangerous drug. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl has become the most common cause of drug overdose death in the U.S.

How Does Rainbow Fentanyl Affect a Person?

Like other opioids, rainbow fentanyl binds to opioid receptors in the part of the brain that controls emotions and regulates pain. It creates a euphoric effect that drives people to use the drug again and again. Once the body has become adapted to the presence of opioids in the system, it becomes almost impossible to feel pleasure without using opioids.

In addition to a sense of pleasure, other side effects of fentanyl include:

  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Breathing problems (depressed respiratory system)
  • Sedation
  • Constipation
  • Unconsciousness

In the case of an overdose, fentanyl causes the respiratory system to slow or stop, depriving the brain of oxygen. This can lead to coma, irreversible brain damage, and death.

Warning Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

Because fentanyl is so highly potent, you don’t have to become addicted to endanger your health. Even the first use of fentanyl can be deadly. However, knowing the signs of fentanyl addiction can help you determine whether someone you care about is misusing fentanyl and needs the help of an addiction treatment program.

Warning signs of fentanyl abuse include:

  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Lack of self-care (wearing dirty clothes or not grooming themselves)
  • Depression
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Digestive problems
  • Sores in the mouth

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms is another sign of fentanyl addiction. Frequent complaints of feeling sick, weak, or having muscle aches and pains may indicate the person is addicted to opioids.

Vertava Health Ohio Offers a Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Program

Recovering from opioids is difficult, but with the right treatment and reliable support, it is possible. The comprehensive fentanyl addiction treatment program at Vertava Health Ohio is specifically designed to help people with fentanyl use disorder. Contact Vertava Health Ohio today at 850.374.5331 for more information about our program.