New Drugs Are Forcing First Responders to Fear For Their Lives

There are new drugs that are hitting the streets of the United States that are even more deadly than heroin.

Deadly drug. These new drugs can be deadly just from inhaling or touching them unintentionally. Both Fentanyl and Carfentanil are hitting the streets in a form that can kill a person with just a tiny amount. From Statnews:


It’s deadly because it’s so much stronger than heroin, as shown by the photograph above, which was taken at the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory. On the left is a lethal dose of heroin, equivalent to about 30 milligrams; on the right is a 3-milligram dose of fentanyl, enough to kill an average-sized adult male.

Fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin.

First Responders. This is causing major issues for first responders who have to deal with these drugs, often only realizing it until after it’s too late. This was such a problem in British Columbia that they have worked out new procedures and training for police so they can be safe when doing their jobs. They are working on ways to deal with this issue in the United States as well:

From The Atlantic:

Last fall, 11 SWAT officers in Hartford, CT,  became ill after raiding a stash house. Their flash-bang grenade blasted heroin and fentanyl into air, and they came out dizzy and vomiting—symptoms of an overdose. Thomas Davoren, police chief in Groton, CT, says his department now bring respirators, eye protection, and Tyvek suits to raids if they suspect fentanyl or other synthetic opioids.

Groton, like several other police departments since the DEA warning, has also stopped testing suspected opioids in the field. Officers used to do something called a colorimetric test: Scoop a bit of the suspected drug in plastic pouch with liquid reagents, and it would change color indicating this drug or that. That very act of scooping is now dangerous if it’s fentanyl. Since field tests are preliminary anyways, officers now just send it directly to a crime lab.

Why this matters? It shows that the war on drugs is clearly failing if these deadly drugs are being sold on the streets. Not only are these drugs known to cause death even when only taken once, but they can hurt others who come in contact with them unknowingly.

First responders never know the situations they will be heading into, whether it’s a car they are pulling over for a simple traffic stop or a house they are called to for a disturbance.

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to take any of these drugs other than to commit suicide.