BOSTON (WHDH) - The FBI is issuing a warning over dangerous drugs disguised as harmless-looking pills.

“It looks like candy, it really does – so you have to be careful,” said Brian Boyle, special agent in charge of the Boston DEA Field Office.

Federal agents found bright pills hidden in candy bags in Connecticut last month.

“That doesn’t mean, that if the pill is colorful, that it’s any less harmful,” said Dr. Ximena Sanchez-Samper, an addiction specialist at Charles River Recovery.

Not only that, but candy packages filled with the pills were also confiscated at the Los Angeles airport.

“Any method you can think to get it across the border, they’re going to come up with it,” Special Agent Boyle said.

And multi-colored pills were recently found stuffed in a box of children’s building blocks in New York City a few weeks ago.

“It is absolutely attractive to children,” Lisa Deane, whose son Joe died from a fentanyl overdose, said.

The colors disguise the deadly drug fentanyl. The synthetic opioid is 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s so powerful the amount that fits on a pencil point can kill. More than a hundred thousand people died from opioid overdoses in the United States last year.

Officers say they don’t expect the drug to be given out on Halloween, but they’re concerned dealers are using the colors to create a fun party atmosphere around the killer narcotic. And they worry a child could find one of the pills and confuse it with something sweet.

“They’re trying to target young children.  They’re trying to get addiction. It looks like candy,” Boyle said.

Special Agent Brian Boyle showed 7NEWS how dealers use various devices for distribution.

“You just crank this up and a pill would shoot out,” he said.

It can produce thousands of pills a day, flooding the streets with fentanyl that has a new lethal lure.

“It’s absolutely is terrifying for a parent,” Deane said.

Her son Joe got hooked on opioids in high school when he swallowed a pill a classmate gave him.

“He loved the way it made him feel and the addiction started from there. And we had no idea,” Lisa Deane said.

Lisa says Joe was a gifted athlete who fought his addiction like a warrior.

“He was the toughest kid i’ve ever met in my life and he couldn’t overcome it.

“He died of pure fentanyl poisoning,” she said.

She is sharing his story, hoping to save someone else.

“Your kid can’t experiment with anything– nothing!” she said.

Rainbow fentanyl has been found in Maine and Connecticut recently. Officers fear they will find it in Massachusetts soon.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has several resources about fentanyl that can be found here.

Lisa Deane has also established DemandZero, a non-profit to combat the ever-growing opioid epidemic.

More info on education beyond the stigma of addiction can be found at

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