HONOLULU (KHON2) — Rainbow fentanyl is trending nationwide and seized in 18 states according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Hawaii High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area reported that rainbow fentanyl pills have now made it to the shores of Hawaii Island. Hawaii police seized colored fentanyl pills and notified state partners last week.

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“The instance here on the Big Island was in pill form, fake fentanyl oxycodone, but it also has been seized in powder form, in Ziploc bags or even into the form of chalk in which a child would paint on the sidewalk colored chalk,” said Victor Vazquez, DEA Honolulu Assistant special agent in charge.

Big Island police were able to buy the pills for just $17 each. The DEA said rainbow fentanyl is cheaper, making it easier for kids to access.

“It’s another ploy from the Mexican cartels to target young adults, children, making it look like candy,” Vazquez said.

Officials are concerned about rainbow fentanyl with just two milligrams considered a deadly dose for an adult. The Hawaii Department of Health has seen a steady increase in fentanyl-related deaths over the last few years.

According to the DOH, 22 people died of fentanyl overdoses in 2021, but that data is preliminary and most likely an underestimate.

“Unfortunately, people are dying of fentanyl overdoses and so we have to be extremely cognizant about our children and our youth, because they are most susceptible because it’s being advertised and glamorized in social media,” said Gary Yabuta, Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area executive director.

The DEA is working with local law enforcement to get fentanyl off the streets, but parents can help too by talking to children at home.

“I would urge the public to kind of see what your kids are doing and again stay away if it’s not prescribed by your doctor or if you absolutely don’t know what it is, don’t take it, because it could be too late,” Vazquez said.

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The DEA said anyone who encounters fentanyl in any form, don’t handle it and call 911 immediately.