With fentanyl driving up Hawaii overdoses, drug agents are urging caution for trick-or-treaters
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii drug agents are urging extra caution this Halloween, advising trick-or-treaters (and their parents) to only accept candy from trusted family and friends.
The warning comes as first responders report a spike in fentanyl overdoses.
Officials are also concerned about kids consuming THC edibles.
Law enforcement officials want parents to inspect all of their children’s candy before allowing them to eat any, and say particularly close attention should be paid to packaging.
“There’s a lot of things that look like candies but really aren’t,” said Gary Yabuta, head of Hawaii’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. He said parents should also inspect baked goods, especially cookies and brownies.
It’s one of several tips the federal drug task force has listed on its Halloween Safety Advisory.
“The best precaution is not to accept any form of candy from a stranger, only from known friends and relatives,” Yabuta said. “That’s our philosophy because of what’s been confiscated on the street by law enforcement.”
Colorful fentanyl-laced pills and powder have been recovered in several recent busts across the state.
The drug is also linked to at least eight deaths in Hawaii over the past month.
One of those deaths led to the arrest of Bronson Kepaa, who was captured in Pearl City last week. According to court documents, agents found over 60 grams of suspected fentanyl pills along with other drugs and guns.
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Federal law enforcement also confiscated 12,000 fentanyl pills a passenger was trying to smuggle aboard an airplane at Los Angeles International Airport. The drugs were concealed in boxes of candy. “It was sealed and there was no way of telling that there was fentanyl inside these candy packages without opening it,” Yabuta said.
While authorities say it’s highly unlikely someone would intentionally hand out fentanyl or THC laced products to trick-or-treaters, it could happen by accident.
That’s why Honolulu EMS recommends using gloves to go through your keiki’s candy.
“I’d check the packages. The spelling,” said paramedic Manahel Al-Hozail. “If the color looks off. If it’s not the same shape you’ve seen before. That’s definitely going to be a concern.”
Officials say fentanyl is an issue parents need to be aware of everyday ― not just on Halloween.
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