Providence police see rise in fentanyl on city’s streets

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — It may look like candy, but just one pill of what’s being called ‘rainbow fentanyl‘, can be deadly.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration recently put out a warning about the emergence of this new colorful drug that’s being seen across the country.

Members of the Providence Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau said they’ve seen a similar trend: dealers dyeing fentanyl different colors to make it more appealing to a younger audience, as well as those looking to spend more money for a multicolored drug.

“We just made a recent arrest with purple fentanyl,” said Detective Captain Roger Aspinall, who oversees the city’s Narcotics and Organized Crime unit. “It’s kind of a way to marketing and making it more attractive to a younger audience.”

Lately, Providence officers are seeing fentanyl more often than heroin.

“It’s coming in and it’s clearly become a problem, as you can see the amount of overdoses that we’ve had in recent years.”

But, while the amount of drugs on the streets is high, police say the number of fatal overdoses have done down.

According to the police department, in 2021, Providence saw 435 fatal overdoses. So far in 2022, there has been 187 overdose deaths.

Aspinall also emphasized the ‘Good Faith Law’, which encourages those having or witnessing an overdose to immediately call 9-1-1.

“When you’re making a phone call to get somebody help, we will not arrest somebody,” the captain explained. “The idea is to get that person the help they need.”

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island