Superintendent Message – Rainbow Fentanyl

Monday, October 3rd, 2022 - Posted in All District News District Communications

September 29, 2022


Dear PUSD Community,

I am writing today to raise awareness of a concerning situation we feel our community should be aware of. 

Recently, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a news release warning school districts about the dangers of brightly-colored fentanyl, referred to as ‘Rainbow Fentanyl.’ According to the release, the substance is a “potentially fatal drug found in pills and powders in a variety of bright colors, shapes and sizes.” These colorful pills can appear to be candy and attractive to young people. An example of this is shown in the attached photo. 

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) indicates that Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50x more potent than heroin and 100x more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl – equal to just 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose. Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl may be concentrated in a pill or powder. Furthermore, the DEA warns that rainbow fentanyl has been identified as a new trend, and according to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, “is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.” This fentanyl can be found in many forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that can resemble sidewalk chalk or candy. It has also been identified in gummy form. Any pill (regardless of its color, shape, or size) that does not come from a health care provider or pharmacist can contain fentanyl and can be deadly.

The CDPH has provided signs to look for regarding suspected or confirmed fentanyl or other opioid use and possible overdose, as well as resources included in its Overdose Prevention Initiative. This information will be shared with both families and PUSD staff. Anyone who encounters what they suspect might be fentanyl in any form should not handle it and call 911 immediately. In addition to the Piedmont Fire Department’s ability to respond timely, all Piedmont Police Officers carry Naloxone, a life-saving medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.

Thank you for your attention and feel free to contact my office with any questions.



Dr. Donald Evans

Interim Superintendent

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