Why Parents Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Fentanyl Candy This Halloween

As children prepare for the abundance that is Halloween trick-or-treating, parents may not feel the same level of excitement. Putting aside the fear of an empty candy bowl on the porch, the idea of something dangerous hiding in those treats can be more startling than a red balloon tied to a drain gutter. Over the years, reports of illegal drugs lacing Halloween candy have filled headlines. From the 2019 Fox News report about ecstasy tablets mimicking candy to a CBS News report of a version of edibles that look like Nerds Rope, sometimes the Halloween season brings candy with a not-so-sweet surprise.

While parents should always be diligent with candy sorting, not all reports are what they seem. Recently, fentanyl candy, or rainbow fentanyl, has become a hot topic. According to USA Today, the colorful opioid raises a red flag because its appearance might entice people. Although the narcotic is not new, its appearance has sparked concern during the Halloween season. While caution should always be part of the Halloween candy conversation, the concern over fentanyl candy might be a little too much smoke and mirrors.

The illogical message that spiked concern over fentanyl candy during Halloween

Hiding dangerous items in Halloween candy is a concerning subject, but it's one that may be causing unnecessary fear. According to Today, the frightening idea that a colorful opioid could be mingled within trick-or-treat bags might be unfounded. While drug smugglers in Los Angeles did try to hide the illegal narcotics in candy boxes, one expert does not agree that these confiscated items could be passed out to children.

As Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and addiction medicine doctor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland explained to Today, "The use of candy packaging does not signify that these are being passed off as candy and certainly does not imply that the drugs someone is going to lengths to smuggle would then be given away for free rather than sold for profit." 

Although law enforcement encourages parents to remain diligent with their candy searches, the doctor's logic seems to have merit. Even if a candy's appearance might entice someone to test the waters, this particular situation of illegal drugs in candy boxes does not appear to be a high risk this Halloween season.