New rainbow-colored fentanyl pills are reportedly on the streets of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, likely contributing to the nationwide increase in deaths from the fatal drug.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is warning local parents about the drug, alongside a mother from McKinney who lost her son to a drug overdose in 2016.
“My son was a drug and rehab counselor,” she said. “He died of that very addiction.”
Sharon Roland told WFAA the story of her son Randy, who died at the age of 32 after struggling with drug addiction while working as a rehab counselor.
“He couldn’t save himself,” she said.
Sharon said her husband died of heart failure, which may have contributed to Randy’s battle with addiction.
“Randy was 14 [when his father died]. Seems like he was never able to find peace after that,” she said.
Sharon started Little Free Pantry in Denton, which provides free food and personal items 24/7 outside the family’s law office, a new initiative taken by her family’s non-profit organization, R.O.O. (Reacting to Opioid Overdose).
Sharon is also warning North Texas parents about the drugs that took her son’s life, like the new rainbow-colored fentanyl pills.
Much of the fentanyl has entered Texas by being smuggled across the southern border, leading to a dramatic spike in drug overdoses in local communities, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The DEA alleged that the pills are colored specifically to attract children.
“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,” claimed DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.
“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,” she said.
Dallas DEA Special Agent in Charge Eduardo Chavez commented on the colorful pills, stating, “These are in different shapes and sizes, almost looking like your grocery store cereal marshmallow.”
He added that hundreds of these pills were seized in Dallas on four recent occasions, disguised by drug traffickers to smuggle them across the border.
“In blocks, almost like the sidewalk chalk your kids might use,” said Chavez.
“You think, ‘It won’t happen in my family, it happens in a certain kind of family,'” Sharon stated. “It happens in all families.”