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Authorities warn of new deadly 'rainbow fentanyl' pills, powder as drug circulates in Georgia

The drug has been reported nationwide and is starting to make its rounds in parts of Georgia.
Credit: Drug Enforcement Administration

ATLANTA — After a colorful drug known as "rainbow fentanyl" made news by being circulated nationwide in August, authorities say the deadly pills have now been located in Cobb County.

As the U.S. overdose crisis has reached frightening new levels, with more than 107,000 deaths in 2021 from drug overdoses as reported by the CDC, criminal drug networks are flooding the country with dangerous fentanyl-laced fake pills, according to information from the DEA.

Cobb County Sheriff posted in a statement to Facebook that the Marietta Cobb Smyrna Organized Crime Task Force (MCS) began seeing a purple substance that is called "purple heroin" on the streets in the past couple of months. The DEA suggests this new substance, also known as rainbow fentanyl, appears to be a new trend used by drug cartels to attract these deadly and highly-addictive fentanyl-laced pills to target children due to their candy-like appearance.

Warning: There is a new drug known as Purple Heroin or Rainbow Fentanyl circulating in Cobb County. The Marietta Cobb...

Posted by Cobb County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, September 8, 2022

“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said. “The men and women of the DEA are relentlessly working to stop the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in the United States.”

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

In August, the DEA and other law enforcement agencies seized these eye-catching fentanyl pills in 18 states across the country, according to the a release from the DEA on Aug. 30. The drugs are seized in multiple forms, those of which include pills, powder and blocks that resemble drawing chalk.

The drug can be extremely dangerous in small quantities, although the DEA stated there's no current evidence that any certain color is more potent than others, despite rumors. The DEA stressed that fentanyl is still the deadliest drug in the U.S., with 66 percent of last year's drug overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.

To learn more about the differences between the appearance of authentic pills versus fake pills, visit the DEA's website for more information.

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