Fentanyl in Halloween Candy?

Photo from https://newsroom.osfhealthcare.org/dea-warns-of-candy-clone-fentanyl/

Photo from https://newsroom.osfhealthcare.org/dea-warns-of-candy-clone-fentanyl/

Abby Cohn, Staff Writer

With Halloween quickly approaching, parental fears of such pills making an appearance in their child’s candy have greatly amassed.  While other threats have created public distress in the past, the ominousity of fentanyl and the inability to prevent contamination has sparked an unresolvable distress.  

While Fentanyl is extremely dangerous, and the effects of the epidemic have been detrimental, the actual concerns regarding the drug’s involvement in Halloween treats may be irrational.  Contemporary urban legends are notorious for appearing around Halloween in an effort to scare parents and create public distress.  Examples of this in years past include the contamination of candy with marijuana, razor blades, needles, poisons, etc.  The list of threats goes on, with some sparking greater chaos than others.  Even so, no legitimate reports of actual fatality due to these threats were ever confirmed, and Fentanyl does not seem to be any different.  While large-scale seizures of Fentanyl across the country have inspired fear in the general public, there is no actual evidence to support that there is contamination in any Halloween candy.  According to Tampa Bay 10, “DEA spokesperson Erin Knight-Grimming with the agency’s Miami field division told VERIFY they have not seen any credible evidence that indicates ‘rainbow fentanyl’ is related to Halloween.”  While statistics are slow coming due to the fact that Halloween has yet to arrive.  Based on the history of such concerns, these kinds of rumors are exactly that and should be perceived as just an unalarming warning.  This is not to say that the risk is not plausible, however, the reality of the risk is low. 

When asked by the Scroll if she had any concerns regarding Halloween and the Fentanyl crisis, Holly Van Puyvelde said that “I am not concerned for myself or anyone living in this area but I do think that people that live in more affected communities- with people that would actually put [Fentanyl] in.  But if you are putting Halloween candy out, you have to be nice enough to put Halloween candy out, so if you are poisoning it with Fentanyl then you are obviously no good.  And if you have a neighbor that is creepy, then why would you get candy from your creepy neighbor?.”

Greta Marcellin also provided a statement, saying “I don’t think what everyone is expecting to happen will come to pass, but  I don’t think that nothing will happen.  I do think there may be sadly a few things that you may hear about that will happen, like someone finding something, but I don’t think it will be as genocide as what people are expecting and what people are fearful of because fear does create irrational standards and I do think that hopefully this is going to be what that is.” 

Outside the Halloween context the danger of the Fentanyl crisis still remains present.  According to the CDC 2021 alone 107,375 people have died of drug overdose, and 67% of those deaths involved synthetic opioids, most prominently, Fentanyl.  Attorney General, Rob Bonta says that “Illicit Fentanyl has also reportedly been produced in rainbow colors, potentially aimed at increasing consumption among users, especially young adults.”  He is discussing “rainbow fentanyl, colorful pills laced with fentanyl that are intended to target young Americans.  Such pills have recently been seized in large quantities, making the grandiosity of their threat loom above the heads of all Americans.  Regardless, the reality of this threat in a Halloween context remains unlikely and is no reason to not participate in festivities.

The main takeaway should be to take extra precautions when and if someone is going trick or treating.  The threats that face the present world are serious and should not be taken lightly.  However, dangers both direct and indirect, are entirely plausible and preventable and should not be the reason not to enjoy one’s Halloween.  It is times such as these that remind the public to be aware of the threats of the world around them, and take extra safety measures for their own, their family, and their community’s safety.  Remember to stay safe and have an incredible Halloween.  

For more ways to stay safe this Halloween visit: https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/halloween-food-safety-tips-parents#:~:text=Safe%20treats%3A%20Tell%20children%20not,away%20anything%20that%20looks%20suspicious