NewsCovering Kern County


Fentanyl disguised as candy has some parents concerned this Halloween

More than 12,000 fentanyl pills were found at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday packed into candy boxes and with Halloween just around the corner, some families are worried.
Halloween candy
Fentanyl Found in Candy Boxes
Posted at 4:35 PM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-25 23:07:08-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — With the recent news of 12,000 fentanyl pills being found packed into candy boxes at Los Angeles International Airport, some families are anxious about what their children might be encountering when they go out to trick or treat this Halloween.

Parents like Melissa Hurd are concerned about rainbow-colored fentanyl pills, especially as kids prepare to stuff their bags with colorful candy that can easily resemble to drug.

“They are colored at this point, and so it’s a hidden demon,” said Hurd. “It’s just a hidden devil that comes to kill, and that’s what it comes to do, and that’s what it do.”

After hearing about the fentanyl bust at LAX, Hurd says her grandkids won’t be going trick or treating this year. Instead, she plans to host a party at her workplace with cookies and cupcakes instead of candy.

Experts say caution is the best option, and that all Halloween candy should be double checked for signs of tampering, such as rips or pinholes in the packaging. The safest candy is going to be candy from a national brand in its intact and original wrapper.

“I think it is so important for our parents to be aware, because a simple task of just looking through your child’s candy when they’re done trick or treating to make sure everything looks good, it doesn’t look tampered with, can save a life,” said Stacy Kuwahara, Director of Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

Kuwahara understands why parents and children may be concerned, and she hopes that the community can provide some reassurance by sharing information and safety tips.

“We don’t want anything bad to happen to any of our kids,” said Kuwahara. “We don’t want to take any risks, so I don’t want to spread fear or ruin anyone’s Halloween, but just in case, we really want everyone to know what resources are there, what to look for, and what to do in case of an emergency.”

While some parents plan to continue with their Halloween plans as usual, others plan to take a new approach and avoid the risk altogether.

“My heart breaks because I don’t want to see or hear a kid is dying over a fentanyl that came out of a candy, so my thing to mothers and fathers and all parents, if they could just not even get candy this year, they would be doing their children’s and other people’s kids a big favor,” said random parent who isn’t clearly identified by the script.

Experts say awareness should be the first priority for parents on Halloween, but if you suspect someone may be experiencing a fentanyl overdose, you can use Narcan to stop the overdose, or call 911 right away and let paramedics know what’s going on.