By: Ana Ortiz
Thousands of Americans are victims of the “deadly rainbow,” commonly known as fentanyl. Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, is used in the medical field to manage chronic pain, cancer-related discomfort and post-surgery recovery. However, its illegal and unregulated flow into the US has led to thousands of fatalities, making this an exploding issue over the past five to ten years. Independent filmmaker Charlie Minn is actively raising awareness about this critical issue through his film “FU: Fentanyl Unlimited.”
The demands for illegal drugs in the United States fuel a dangerous trade with Mexico. The connection between the drug demand, money flow and weapons trade underscores the complexity of the opioid crisis, with fentanyl playing a prominent role.
“It’s well known that Americans have a sensational desire for illegal drugs and get most of it from Mexico so we send the cash there and we also send the weapons there,” said Minn.
Minn’s inspiration for creating this film comes from his extensive background and experience.
“I’ve made 11 films in Mexico about the drug war and I know that the cartel is responsible for most of the fentanyl,” said Minn.
Through this film, Minn aims to bring to light the fentanyl epidemic, driven by dedication to reveal the truth about this urgent problem.
“Fentanyl is a huge problem everywhere,” said Minn. “People have to raise awareness about it because they could be next, a family member, or a friend, colleague, someone they know.”
Moreover, we have to remind ourselves of the human faces behind the statistics, urging us to approach the crisis with empathy and understanding. Behind every statistic lies a story of pain, desperation and a cry for help.
“There’s a lot of desperate people in our country who need the fix and need to get high,” said Minn. “They can’t help it.”
Unfortunately, its vibrant appearance can be deceptively reminiscent of candy, but the reality is that often it is blended discreetly into substances like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. This makes it invisible to the naked eye, indetectable to the taste buds and odorless to the senses. The danger lies not only in the exterior but in its ability to infiltrate other substances seamlessly.
“You almost have to watch what you eat,” said Minn.
With 70,000 reported deaths per year due to the “deadly rainbow”, there has to be something done as thousands more are not incorporated into the statistics.
“I see it on the news every day but then again I look for it,” said Minn. “So it’s different for me from a mindset standpoint whereas if I wasn’t studying it I would miss it or would not be paying as much attention.”
Minn’s objective is to bring awareness to the issue, recognizing that as media outlets do cover it, there is room for increased attention. Many individuals make the mistake of believing that the issue does not impact them directly, leading them to overlook it.
Narcan is essential in combating the crisis and saving lives. It is a life-saving medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdoses and is widely available.
“I think Narcan is one of the most amazing things in the world where you can literally bring somebody back by just shoving it up their nose and just spraying it,” said Minn.
As we confront the alarming surge of the “deadly rainbow,” we must first make ourselves aware. The film will be shown at Look Cinema in Tampa, Florida on Oct. 17 at 7 PM. For more information about the film, go to fentanylunlimited.com.