A Devious Trick: Fentanyl in Halloween Candy


A Trick in the Treat: Junior Ayana Ragin judging her candy before consumption.

Fentanyl seems to be everywhere these days and this Halloween it could be in the baskets of trick-or-treaters. While Halloween is known for its spookiness, a laced piece of candy is not a desired treat. A once classic family-friendly holiday has become harder for kids to enjoy over the recent decades as they can no longer relish the fruits of their labor without fear. “I love the holiday but my parents have essentially banned it in my house deeming it a danger to human society,” said Junior Ayana Ragin.

Taking the spotlight this Halloween is Fentanyl, which is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid. Opioids interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain to relieve pain and can produce euphoria, particularly when misused. While it is a prescription drug it’s now been illegally synthesized. Its rise in popularity is due to a large black market supply. The result has been a spike in death tolls caused by opioids. The correlation to Halloween is “rainbow” fentanyl with its brightly colored appearance in the form of pills similar in shape to candy. Attached to this new strand are rumors of it being handed out on Halloween. Through the eyes of a trick-or-treater, it could easily be mistaken for a sweet treat and eaten without a second thought. “On Halloween I gobble up every piece of candy on sight,” said Junior Avery Braswell.

This is not the first time Halloween candy has been a target for unwanted additives. Razor blades, LSD, sewing needles, and ecstasy have all been found in the past within children’s candy baskets. Last year Georgia police urged parents to inspect their kids’ candy and continue to do so this year. It is not uncommon for parents to perform a search and seizure of their children’s Halloween candy nowadays. “My parents continue to check my candy every year without fail,” said Junior Aidan Smith. “They have even been browsing for drug tests on amazon recently”. 

Detecting fentanyl isn’t as easy as finding a rusty nail but staying alert is extremely important as looking out for anything out of the ordinary. As Halloween gets closer the risk is also increasing. On the 20th of October authorities seized thousands of fentanyl pills hidden in candy boxes at Los Angeles International Airport. It can only be assumed other attempts similar to this are being made, and some have even been successful. It’s important to be safe when trick or treating this year. For this Halloween, it won’t be a ball if you ingest fentanyl.