HAYWARD (CBS SF) — The Hayward Police warned residents Thursday that officers recently discovered a form of the deadly synthetic opioid Fentanyl that looks like bubble gum.
The police department took to social media to post about the recently-discovered form of the drug, which is wrecking communities all across the nation.
“Some of our patrol officers recently discovered and seized fentanyl that they described as looking like, ‘chewed up bubble gum,’ the department’s Facebook read.
Department spokesperson Officer Cassandra Fovel told KPIX 5 that they suspect the colors are not random.
“Yellow is one of them, blue is another one,” Fovel said. “Each of the colors symbolize a different level of potency.”
According to Hayward Police, Fentanyl “is deadly, ever changing, and easily disguised,” as well as responsible for driving overdose deaths in the U.S. to a record high last year. The man-made opioid is reportedly up to 40 times more toxic than heroin and up to 100 times more toxic than morphine, and is often used to cut other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
“I still meet people every week that don’t even know that fentanyl can kill, and that it’s in the United States,” Greenbrae mother Michelle Leopold told KPIX 5. “There’s enough fentanyl currently in the U.S. to kill every single human being.”
Two years ago, Leopold lost one of her two sons to an overdose of fentanyl, the same drug that killed a Concord High School freshman in August.
“In Valentina, in Concord’s case, it was half of a pill. It wasn’t even a whole pill,” Leopold says of the death of Valentina Langhammer.
She’s now working to raise awareness about the drug, which is constantly turning up in other drugs, and occasionally in new forms.
“The most dangerous words a parent can say is ‘not my kid,'” Leopold said. “Because it can be anybody’s kid.”
“Please pass this information along to family and friends. We want the community to be more informed and able to recognize and report these types of substances, especially those who know someone experiencing problems with substance abuse,” Hayward Police wrote.
“We just want the community to be safe and aware that if they see these types of substances in the public to stay away,” Fovel said.
Wilson Walker contributed to this report.