Rainbow Fentanyl and the Introduction of Narcan

The Rising Drug Problems in Public Schools


Matthew Rakola

Narcan nasal spray, now being given to LA public schools to prevent overdoses. Photo from: DEA Archives

On June 6, Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, signed Senate Bill 367, which requires all public colleges in the state to have Narcan, a drug that can be used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose. According to the CDC, the number of people who died due to synthetic opioids in 2020 was over 56,000. This is an increase of over 56 percent from the previous year and 18 times higher than the number of people who died in 2013.

In California, there were over 4,000 opioid-related deaths in 2020, which is significantly higher than the 1,690 deaths in 2019. Narcan is a nasal spray that can immediately reverse an overdose. However, it is still important to call an emergency medical facility for help if someone is overdosing.

Due to these deaths, LAUSD schools have decided to begin requiring that schools carry Narcan in order to potentially save a student’s life. 

Along with this, a rise in “Rainbow-colored Fentanyl” has begun to occur all across the US.

“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,” said 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.”

Make sure to take extra care when trick or treating this year, and check your candy for the safety of you and your loved ones.