For the first time, Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force officers discover “rainbow” fentanyl.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl, also spelled fentanil, is a potent opioid used as a pain medication. Together with other drugs, fentanyl is used for anesthesia. It is also used illicitly as a recreational drug, sometimes mixed with heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines or methamphetamine.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug that is also made and used illegally. Like morphine, it is a medicine that is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery.

It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids. Tolerance occurs when you need a higher and/or more frequent amount of a drug to get the desired effects.

Agents from the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force recovered three M30 tablets on September 16. Agents tested the tablets in the field and discovered that they contained fentanyl.

In late August, the DEA issued a public alert about multicoloured fentanyl pills that were being marketed to younger age groups.

In the seizure on Friday, task force officers came into contact for the first time with the vividly coloured pills that, according to Drug Enforcement Administration authorities, can be mistaken for candy. The fentanyl tablets that had previously been seized were all blue.