SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public about “rainbow fentanyl,” a colorful variation of the drug that health officials say are meant to lure younger people into trying them.

“[The drugs], they’re colorful because they kind of create more excitement, and young people are certainly more likely to be influenced by a different are brightly colored pills,” Dr. Bryan Finke with CoxHealth said.

The drug has been seized in 18 states this month — including Missouri.

“The amount of fentanyl in a blueberry could kill around 8000-9000 people,” Finke said.

People we talked to reacted to the DEA sounding the alarm.

“This fentanyl stuff needs to be gone after immediately,” Rebecca Webb said.

“To target teenagers and grade schoolers with this kind of deal. How pathetic is that?” Dave Koch said. “That you would want to get somebody hooked on that or even give them too much and kill them?”

Dr. Finke said advertising studies may have led to this new colorful version.

“These drug cartels know Americans very well, and they know what sells in America,” Dr. Finke said.

The best recommendation to keep your kids away from drugs? Spending time together and keeping an eye out for suspect behavior.

“Be on the lookout for any type of pill that may look like a vitamin or a colored vitamin, and, you know your teenager hadn’t taken vitamins in years or since they were a young, young child,” Dr. Finke said. “They’re not vitamins.”

“There’s a lot of families that are disconnected anymore, and that opens the door for drug use,” Haden added. “Come in at night and tell them you love them, you know?”

Springfield Police and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office said there have been no fainbow fentanyl busts at this time.

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