CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are taking more drugs off the streets.

Officers in the North Tryon division seized over three kilograms of “rainbow fentanyl” on Sept. 7.

“An officer was alerted to this house and immediately recognized it as being a major issue and then used our resources,” said Maj. Luke Sell with CMPD. “DEA came in to help.”

The drug DEA officials are warning the public about the drug targeted toward younger users. 

Charles Odell with the Dilworth Center, which offers drug rehabilitation programs, says he’s seen people of all ages coming for treatment and says the colorful drug is a rebranding effort similar to old television cigarette ads.

“Camel used Joe Camel, and it was a cartoon character,” said Odell. “The reason they did that was to market to younger people who were more interested or swayed by the presence of a cartoon character.”

The worry for Odell and the police is the ease with which all ages can get the drug. Because there are a lot of people taking deadly doses.

“The last time I looked, you can get a gram of fentanyl; that’s enough to overdose five hundred people on the dark net for ten dollars,” said Odell.

CMPD is working with MEDIC and the DEA to create a live mapping system for overdoses. The availability of Narcan is helping, but if cops know an area to target, it can lead to more arrests.

“If there are overdoses, we can work backwards into those neighborhoods to get in those neighborhoods,” added Sell.

Then, it’s hoping to catch people before that overdose or worse happens.

“Of all the counterfeit tablets confiscated by the DEA in 2022 of those that contained an opioid, 6 out of 10 contained a lethal dose of fentanyl,” said Odell. “So, your chances of dying from taking one of those pills is higher than not dying, and that’s alarming.”

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