The use of fentanyl in the 16th Street Mall location in Denver has led to an extraordinary measure, not seen in many stores, let alone Targets: the locking up of aluminum foil.

Almost every Target on earth keeps certain items behind locked plexiglass cabinets, including game consoles, expensive headphones, and other pricey merchandise. However, due to a whole process of people coming in and stealing “just a little bit” of foil, then using a lighter to heat the blue pills on the foil before smoking the fentanyl, Target at the 16th Street Mall location has been forced to lock up their aluminum foil.

Extraordinary Measure

Workers at other stores in the metro area confirm that they don’t lock up their aluminum foil. The King Soopers behind Union Station and stores in Edgewater and Glendale don’t keep their foil locked away.

But other stores on the 16th Street Mall have put their foil under protective order, too. The CVS at the corner of Stout and 16th keeps its foil behind the checkout counter due to people coming in and swiping pieces of it.

The fentanyl panic has generated stories of near-death experiences across the country, including tales of police officers and civilians encountering fentanyl and overdosing just from touching the drug.

According to the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, there is no risk of overdose from touching fentanyl or inhaling secondhand smoke. However, health experts still advise avoiding exposure.

The Fight Against the Epidemic

The extra security measures taken by CVS have been made public in an April 4 Reddit post, with commenters pointing out that they now need to wait for workers or the manager to get something as simple as a Coke. However, the CVS guard explained that they are no longer allowed to lock the coolers due to corporate guidelines.

The drug situation in the 16th Street Mall has worsened due to COVID, causing people to lose their jobs, making the homeless problem and the drug problem really bad in Denver. The issue of drug use on the 16th Street Mall is severe, and it is up to the Denver Police Department and outreach organizations to help those suffering from addiction.

While Target is focused on aluminum foil, the fentanyl epidemic is a widespread issue that requires immediate attention. The Denver community needs to come together to address the root causes of the epidemic and provide support for those who are struggling with addiction.


The issue of drug use on the 16th Street Mall is a growing concern, and it is important for businesses and organizations to take action to combat the epidemic. By locking up aluminum foil, stores like Target and CVS are taking a proactive approach to limit access to the drug. However, the larger issue of addiction requires a community-wide effort to address the root causes and provide support for those who need it.

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