Phoenix police crime lab recovers first batch of rainbow multicolored fentanyl

Traditional fentanyl looks like a small blue-colored pill. However, the Phoenix Police Department found fentanyl that looks like a multicolored tab.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:21 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- We’ve heard a lot about so-called “rainbow fentanyl,” the brightly colored pills which can turn deadly with minimal contact. But, for the first time, Phoenix police have it in their crime lab.

Traditional fentanyl looks like a small blue-colored pill. However, the Phoenix Police Department found fentanyl that looks like a multicolored tab. The traditional pill and the new batch both have the same dose, so what’s different?

“So the traditional pill will be a blue pill which has an M and a 30 on it which looks exactly like a Percocet. But it’s not Percocet. Any time you take a pill and you put different colors or have it sparkled, that’s to pique interest in something. Certainly there are no medications on the market that would have multi colors or have these mutlicolored sprinkle type colors. That’s to appease a younger audience,” said Dr. Gary Kirkilas, a spokesperson with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kirkilas also says kids using fentanyl is becoming increasingly common. “We have had kids where they’ve used it so much that they have respiratory depression,” said Dr. Kirkilas.

With a new, colorful pill on the streets, Phoenix police warn it may get worse before Halloween. “We want people to understand that it may not just be blue tablets they encounter, it could be other colors or multiple colors, and we want people to know what it looks like,” said Roger Scheider, a forensic scientist with the department.

They’re encouraging parents to get ahead–and take action if they see any suspicious-looking candy. “Parents should be vigilant. They’re the first line of defense in looking for something like this,” said Scheider. If you find anything suspicious-looking, call the police.