A Dangerous “Emerging Trend” Impacting Public Safety: Youth Risks for Laced Candy this Halloween

Halloween Safety


As Halloween is approaching, ASAP wants to ensure you know the warning signs of possible danger with laced candy and festive treats. With the recent spike in fentanyl overdose cases, availability and accessibility to our youth, and traffickers targeting younger generations through social media channels, it’s more important than ever to beware of potentially laced candy.

A safety message from the FDA: Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

Concerns for fentanyl use are at an all-time high from drug enforcement agents and law enforcement officials, and they want parents aware of the dangers surrounding our communities. With fears of this “alarming emerging trend” that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is seeing face our youth, from local to national agencies, law enforcement officials want parents to beware of the brightly colored pills, which is a new trend and strategy for drug cartel to target children, making these lethal drugs look like candy.

“Fentanyl costs money. Drug dealers aren’t just going to take fentanyl and arbitrarily put in the bags and send it out on the street for kids. What we do worry about is our high school kids and college age kids going to parties, being exposed to something that’s candy-like, but is actually fentanyl,” Martin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Budensiek said. (WPTV)

Many agencies hosting community events take precautionary measures to inspect candy, require commercially wrapped pieces to give out at gatherings and are taking an active role in advocating for public safety. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat for the US, as it’s 50 times more potent than heroin, recording majority of teen overdose deaths being cause by the drug.

From the DEA, What Every Parent and Caregiver Needs to Know about FAKE PILLS and Fentanyl, click here: https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2022-10/DEA-OPCK_Parent%20flyer_V6.pdf

With how easily accessible it is, along with the lower cost for being mass produced and mixed with other substances, it’s prime time for parent, colleagues and employers to be on high-alert for this poison. It can be easily and unknowingly brought into homes, public environments, and workplaces.

For safety-sensitive workers, there are many risk factors if an employee is using and/or under the influence of fentanyl. Some signs of fentanyl-use include drowsiness, confusion, sedation, trouble walking or talking, dizziness or even become unconscious, experiencing noticeable mood swings. These types of behaviors can pose a great threat to the safety-sensitive industries, causing potential danger to themselves, co-workers, and the public.

If you are an employer having issues with potential misuse and impairment in the workplace, American Substance Abuse Professionals (ASAP) can help! We provide support with DOT and non-DOT supervisory training for reasonable suspicion/impairment detection, second chance programs through substance use evaluations, aftercare, and follow up testing monitoring, as well as promote employee awareness on substance use and abuse. Call us today at 410-366-3899 x607. Work Safely.

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). (February 2022). Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents. Safety Message Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/buy-store-serve-safe-food/halloween-food-safety-tips-parents#:~:text=Safe%20treats%3A%20Tell%20children%20not,away%20anything%20that%20looks%20suspicious.

Bendix with NBC News. (April 2022) Fentanyl drives spike in teen overdose deaths, even as drug use falls to new low. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/teen-overdose-deaths-spiked-low-drug-use-rcna23103

Papaycik and Shainman, WPTV. (October 2022). Ahead of Halloween, drug agents warning parents about ‘rainbow fentanyl.’ Retrieved from https://www.wptv.com/news/national/ahead-of-halloween-drug-agents-warning-parents-about-rainbow-fentanyl


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