GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Police officers across America have been rushed to the hospital after being inadvertently exposed to the drug Fentanyl. Due to that, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a warning to all first responders with the message reaching first responders in the Grand Valley.
“The spread of opioids brings a growing risk to our first responders,” said Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General.
So with that risk comes a new guide for first responders on how to deal with Fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more deadly than heroin,” said Rosenstein.
Many deaths across the nation are tied to Fentanyl, a drug that starts off like so many other opioids.
“It’s used for pain relief which is a genuine issue for many people the hard part is the difference between a therapeutic dose and a lethal dose is very close,” said Scott Aber, Certified Addiction Counselor.
Aber has seen first hand, the toll the drug can take. “It kills you by stopping your breathing, people just fall asleep and never wake up,” said Aber.
So with how deadly Fentanyl can be, first responders here in the Grand Valley are taking note.
“A very very very incredibly small amount of pure Fentanyl can be lethal to a grown adult,” said Heidi Davidson of the Grand Junction Police Department.
Depending on the potency, some grains of Fentanyl smaller than the size of a penny can be lethal. With that risk, first responders can be exposed in many different ways.
“There’s special protective gear that’s required because it can be ingested transdermally, and can be spread through the air if disturbed,” said Davidson.
So getting a little more information on how to handle the drug can possibly save a life. Which helps with dealing with the opioid epidemic, America needs all hands on deck.