“Rainbow Fentanyl”: Should You Be Worried About Your Kids Trick-or-Treating?
As we near the end of October, you may have heard about the dangerous and disturbing fentanyl crisis spreading across the United States. Many stories and news reports have described victims who simply picked a dollar or piece of paper off the ground, only to find that it was laced with enough of the dangerous drug to cause an overdose.
Lately, a new version of this drug has taken the form of brightly colored pills similar in shape and size to sweet tarts and labeled “rainbow fentanyl.” As many families prepare for an evening of trick-or-treating in the coming evenings, we thought it was important to dive deeper into this dangerous crisis in order to help you better understand the risks associated with rainbow fentanyl and how to keep your kids safe during a night of trick-or-treating.
Should You Check Your Kid’s Candy?
While rainbow fentanyl may look like candy, it will not likely get mixed with the candy your children collect going door-to-door. Most of the candy they get will be individually wrapped or packaged. In fact, the fear that candy collected during trick-or-treating will be contaminated goes back much further than this year’s fentanyl crisis. According to Joel Best, Ph.D. and a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, there is nothing we need to be overly concerned about. In fact, he has data dating back to 1958 that shows not a single case of a child being killed or seriously injured by a contaminated treat picked up during an evening of trick-or-treating.
The Real Issue at Hand
This nationwide crisis is frightening, but we have hope. In 2 Timothy 1:7, we are reminded that “God not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, and of love, and of sound mind.” There are many ways that we can educate ourselves and our children about the fentanyl crisis — by being aware and observant and doing our part in preventing accidental overdoses. To live in fear is to give in to the attempts of the enemy to keep us stuck and shackled in place.
What Can We Do?
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to keep our kids from being exposed to drugs and drug use at some point in their lives. We can, however, help them understand the dangers of these illicit substances and how to say no should any opportunity ever present itself. What we shouldn’t do is live in denial or pretend that our students will never be exposed to drugs or drug use. The more awareness and understanding that we have surrounding the topic, the better choices our children can make.
According to Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention, a publication written by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Healthy Students in 2017, a powerful protective factor is a strong bond with a parent (or caregiver) and letting your child know that someone who cares is available at any time of the day or night.
Other ways that we can help protect our children and students include:
- Defining rules and consequences surrounding drugs and drug use
- Carving out individual time in order to have meaningful conversations with your child
- Providing positive role models
- Promoting healthy activities
- Getting involved in their social life and school
What We Believe
At Resurrection Christian School in Loveland, we believe in the importance of coming together and creating a community that looks after one another, prevents drug use, and protects our students from this crisis through strong faith and a deeper understanding. This week and over the weekend, take some time to sit down with your children to discuss this drug crisis, allow them to ask questions, and pray over them for protection and the courage to say no in the face of these challenges.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
2 Timothy 1:7