HOLLADAY, Utah (ABC4) — Local authorities sounded the alarm Friday during a press conference warning of the rise of fentanyl on local streets, with one trend being known as “rainbow fentanyl”.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often pressed into fake pills or cut into heroin, cocaine and other street drugs to drive addiction, authorities said this morning. Rainbow fentanyl comes in various bright colors, and looks like candy. Police said they believe it’s designed this way to target children. Officers say this month, they have seized what is known as rainbow fentanyl in powder form in the Salt Lake Valley. They say this is the most recent evolution of this drug and want people to be aware of it.

Chris Lovell, 43, is a recovered addict that shared his story at the press conference, saying his addiction started when he needed a prescription drug. Along the way, he said he overdosed three times on fentanyl-laced drugs — and that naloxone saved his life.

“Fifteen years ago I had a business, I had a house, I had a girlfriend, I had everything I wanted,” said Lovell. “Due to a medical condition, I was placed on prescription painkillers and four years later, I got a mugshot, an offender number and I became a statistic.”

​Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera warned parents.

”It comes in pills, powder, and even resembles sidewalk chalk,” she said. “We know that we recovered some powder form that came in a purple color, so we want to make sure everyone understands to look for these different colors, it may save a life.”

Law enforcement said they have already seized more than half a million fake pills this year, more than doubling pill seizure numbers from last year. They recommend that people never accept or take a pill that hasn’t been directly prescribed to them by a licensed physician. They said it’s important to be aware of the signs of a fentanyl overdose, which include blue lips or blue fingertips, unresponsive to sternal rub, body stiffening, foaming at the mouth, and confusion.

Lovell, who is now over two years clean, says it’s important to talk about the dangers of fentanyl – and for those facing substance abuse addiction to receive support

“It doesn’t take much to get addicted,” said Lovell. “Heroin has taken everything from me but my fight to survive. I want to extend that and help other people in my same situation.”

Authorities say that drug traffickers often use social media to advertise drug and traffic sales, so they recommend parents monitor their children online and have conversations with them early on about the dangers of drugs.