Teens, Fentanyl, and The Risks


Gwen Gollihar, Arts and Entertainment Editor

On October 5, 2022, the DEA found a woman in New York carrying a box of LEGO’s filled with over 15,000 of the fatal, rainbow pill, fentanyl. After identifying a suspect, law enforcement found two black tote bags and a box of LEGO’s filled with the classic colorful blocks and a partially opened bag full of colorful, candy-look-alike drugs. 

There have been several fentanyl overdoses in the U.S, especially among teenagers. “At least seven teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 have overdosed on this powerful synthetic opiate in Los Angeles over the past few weeks. The drug, which killed more than 70,600 Americans last year, continues to extend its reach in the United States, where it is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake,” (english.elpais.com). As of this past year, the fentanyl overdoses in Riverside are about 406. And since overdoses of fentanyl are so common in teens, it causes worries and problems in communities and at schools. 

Many abusers of fentanyl have been teenagers so the fact that this drug has been hidden inside toy boxes is concerning. “When the officers stopped the vehicle, a detective found Bush in the rear seat with two black tote bags and a yellow Lego container holding ‘approximately 15,000 round multi-colored alleged fentanyl pills marked ‘M30,’” the complaint said,” (cnn.com).

Along with these drugs being found in children’s toys, it has also been found in different types of candies. Because of this, many parents are becoming more and more worried as the Halloween season passes. “The news comes as Halloween approaches, a time when authorities often warn families to inspect candy before eating.” (cnn.com) Since these drugs have been disguised as candies in the past, looking out for suspicious candies in baskets is a big deal this Halloween season. Looking out for candies like Smarties and Sweet Tarts is important since they look most similar to rainbow fentanyl. Along with looking out for specific candies, to stay safe, parents and students can also inspect wrappers that seem open or tampered with. 

“I think it’s definitely a danger because children don’t know the difference between what should be going into their bodies and what shouldn’t be. So obviously that’s going to be posing a safety risk and especially with Halloween coming up. There’s obviously more of a danger there, as well,” Ms. Soria explains.  

Fentanyl has caused many overdoses that have led to death because of how strong and deadly this drug is. A writer from CBS News shares information that reads, “Fentanyl is a lab-created opioid drug that can be 50 times more potent than heroin, so even a small amount can lead to fatal overdoses.” Fentanyl has been one of the main drugs to most recently cause overdoses in the United States. 

“I think for me as a parent, and as a teacher, I think it’s pretty terrifying. Just because there are so many, there are so many things that are dangerous for you guys as students, especially young students, and adding to that with things like fentanyl and other drugs that are so very dangerous and highly lethal,” says Mrs. Shields.  

Clearly, these issues with fentanyl have impacted not only students but their parents and teachers as well. This is why being aware of these problems and how to stop them is so important, they aren’t only affecting you, they are affecting those who care about you. These can be the perfect people to go to if you need help because they love you and want to help. 

Focusing on the awareness of drugs and alcohol is of big importance at North. This is one of the main focuses of North’s Red Ribbon Week this year. Giving information about fentanyl and other fatal drugs has been something that North has made an effort to include this Red Ribbon Week. 

Warning parents, students, and teachers about the dangers of fentanyl is imperative so that we can protect ourselves and others and spread the word about staying safe.