AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s a question we’ve been getting a lot at KXAN: why aren’t you warning us about Halloween candy being laced with drugs?
The short answer is there’s no evidence it is — at least not here in Austin.
“Halloween candy can certainly be tampered with in some form or fashion, but I’ve been doing this for a long time — 27 years here with Austin Travis County EMS — and I’m not aware of any cases that resulted in an overdose from Halloween candy,” said Captain Darren Noak with Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.
The Austin Police Department echoed that, saying candy laced with drugs isn’t something it commonly sees either. It has no active, open investigations into anything like that, officials told KXAN. Still, they recommend checking your kids’ candy when you get home.
“So anything that looks like it’s been tampered with, anything that might be discolored or open, I would avoid that, just throw that out,” APD Corporal Destiny Silva said.
While the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Austin division wouldn’t talk specifically about Halloween, it did say rainbow fentanyl is a general concern for it, especially when it comes to kids’ safety.
“The purpose of coloring the fentanyl is to make it look more like candy, which is again targeting the younger crowds,” said Tyson Hodges, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA Austin office. He did not provide local data on how prevalent rainbow fentanyl is compared to other pressed pills mixed with the deadly drug.
Meanwhile, ATCEMS said when it comes to the upcoming holiday, it’s much more concerned about kids walking in the street than it is about candy being laced with drugs.
“Safe Kids Worldwide says you are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal auto-pedestrian incident on Halloween than any other day of the year,” Noak said.
Alternatives to trick-or-treating
Local law enforcement agencies are again hosting trunk-or-treat events this year, which provide a safe alternative to trick-or-treating.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a trunk-or-treat on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m. at the TCSO Keith G. Ruiz Building at 5555 Airport Blvd. The event is open to the public.
The sheriff’s office has kids vote on the best decorated TCSO vehicle, which we’ve been told holds internal bragging rights within the department. You can find more details on TCSO’s website.
The Austin ISD Police Department is also hosting a trunk-or-treat event that is free and open to the public. That one takes place Saturday, Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m. and is at Nelson Field on 7105 Berkman Dr.
You can find more details on Austin ISD’s website.