HONOLULU (KHON2) — Rainbow fentanyl continues to leak into the community. Hawaii police seized more of the colored pills Monday in Kona according to the Hawaii High Drug Trafficking Area.
“We’re going to see more floating around and again, the message is one fentanyl product can kill you that’s how lethal fentanyl is,” said Gary Yabuta, Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area executive director. “It’s a synthetic heroin made by the Mexican cartels. It’s cheap and it’s readily available.”
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This seizure is just the latest. Last week Big Island police bought orange fentanyl pills for just $17 each. According to Hawaii HIDTA, Honolulu police have also recovered counterfeit oxycontin.
“No matter if your kids are straight A students, no matter if you have boy scouts at home, you never know nowadays whether you need Narcan for yourself or your children or your neighbors or your friends and that’s the reality,” Yabuta said.
Narcan is a nasal spray that can instantly reverse the impacts of an opioid overdose. The Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center said Honolulu police are now carrying the stray and the Honolulu Fire Department is committing to training all uniformed employees to be equipped with it too.
HHHRC has distributed over 8,000 doses of Narcan as of August. The organization offers online training and Narcan is available free of charge to the public.
“You do kind of a sternum check to see if they’re responsive and if they’re not responsive the likelihood is they are experiencing overdose,” said Nikos Leverenz of the Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center. “You can also look for changes in color, especially in their lips and how deeply they’re breathing as well.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration says it’s working with local law enforcement on how to spot the colored pills. While Hawaii Island law enforcement says it’s prioritizing the investigating of these cases.
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“You can only assume that what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to appeal to the younger generation and law enforcement is not going to tolerate that type of actions,” said Kelden Waltjen, Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney.