BOSTON (CBS) – It used to be that when police officers responded to an opioid overdose, they worried about saving just the victim’s live. Now they also have to protect their own.
A police officer in Ohio almost overdosed after just coming into skin contact with Fentanyl. He passed out and woke up in the hospital after being revived by Narcan.
The problem is so bad, the Drug Enforcement Administration has notified police departments to take extra precautions.
In Methuen, police now respond to drug overdoses in pairs just in case one of them is overcome. They also carry double the amount of Narcan they used to.
“Very scary for me as a police chief to think I could lose someone in the process of treating someone,” said Police Chief Joseph Solomon.
Solomon said the problem is that some of the powder can be so small, its almost invisible.
He said his officers now wear two pairs of gloves and soon they will be wearing surgical masks on drug calls.
Methuen Police are so concerned of danger to exposure that they don’t test for the presence of fentanyl when they make an arrest. They send samples to the Massachusetts State Police lab.