Fentanyl pills seized in Cumberland County look like children's vitamins, sparking fears of dealers targeting kids.
Remember how cool it was as a kid when your Mom would give you a Flintstone vitamin or maybe one shaped like a dinosaur? You wished you could have more than one because they were just fun to eat. This memory makes a new trend in delivering deadly fentanyl even scarier because the pills look like they came out of a kids' vitamin bottle.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has released a picture of the drugs that look like green alien heads and purple hand grenades that were seized in Cumberland County in February. Field testing of the pills revealed that they contained fentanyl, sometimes in lethal doses. DEA officials are concerned that the candy or vitamin-like appearance may be a way to make them appealing to a younger market, however, younger people using these drugs would increase the possibility of fatal overdoses.
Fentanyl was the largest cause of fatal overdose deaths in 2020. The reason, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, is that fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, like heroin, without the knowledge of the buyer. Since it's up to 50 times stronger than heroin, it's very easy for people to accidentally overdose when they don't know they're taking it. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that's cheaper than heroin, so a dealer can use it to increase their supply. And fentanyl is easy to get, usually manufactured in China and Mexico.
Law enforcement is aware of these new fentanyl pills and will be on the lookout for them. But it's worth it to talk with your children about them so they know not to accept one if it's offered to them.