Cops are collapsing after touching fentanyl, but you can't overdose from skin contact. The likelier story? Panic attacks.

Asia's Tech News Daily

San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy David Faiivae gets aid from an officer after being exposed to fentanyl on July 3, 2021. Experts say it’s unlikely that Faiivae was overdosing. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

  • Cops are collapsing after touching fentanyl, but experts say you can't overdose from skin contact.

  • Officers may be experiencing a conversion disorder – when stress is converted into physical symptoms.

  • Misinformation is swirling about the risk of fentanyl exposure on the job for police officers.

The video is harrowing: It shows a San Diego deputy crumpling to the ground in a parking lot after accidentally touching white powder during an arrest.

“I got you, okay? I'm not going to let you die,” a voice from off camera coaches. And then, “I need Narcan!”

Later in the video, the collapsed officer-in-training, Deputy David Faiivae, recalls how his lungs locked up that day in July and wipes away a tear.

“I almost died of a fentanyl overdose,” Faiivae, age 32, warns the camera. The San Diego County Sheriff, Bill Gore, then appears on screen with a public service message.

“Being exposed to just a few small grains of fentanyl could have deadly consequences,” he warns, adding, “Please take the time to share this video.”

There's just one problem: Experts say you can't overdose from touching fentanyl. So why did the San Diego police officer collapse?

If cops aren't overdosing from touching fentanyl, what is happening?

A chemical specialist in a protective suit with pills seized at a clandestine fentanyl processing lab in Mexico City, December 12, 2018. Attorney General’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

It's not that fentanyl isn't dangerous. A record 93,000 drug overdose deaths were reported last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl are the most common drugs involved in those deaths.

But skin contact with fentanyl is different, experts say.

“The only way to overdose is from injecting, snorting, or some other way of ingesting it,” Dr. Ryan Marino, medical director of toxicology at University Hospitals in Cleveland, told The New York Times. “You cannot overdose from secondhand contact.”

Moreover, the symptoms people describe after touching fentanyl vary widely, from dizziness to blurry vision to heart palpitations.

“Passive exposure to fentanyl does not result in clinical toxicity,” Dr. Lewis Nelson, director of the medical toxicology division at Rutgers Medical School, wrote in a STAT News op-ed in 2018, adding that the reactions usually resolve on their own, and faster than the drug's effects should last.

“They aren't consistent with the signs and symptoms of opioid poisoning – the triad of slowed breathing, decreased consciousness, and pinpoint pupils,” Nelson wrote.

But the police officer in San Diego wasn't the only one to collapse. Officers in Ohio, Arkansas, Massachusetts, California, and North Carolina have all also struggled to breath or fainted after touching fentanyl. Deputy Faiivae declined to comment on the incident. The New Republic's “The Politics of Everything” podcast set out to solve this mystery last month, and concluded that officers are having panic attacks, fueled by misinformation.

“People are probably familiar with what in the 19th century or early 20th century was called hysteria,” Patrick Blanchfield, an associate faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research specializing in psychoanalytic theory, told “The Politics of Everything.”

In classic hysteria cases, symptoms present as temporary paralysis, Blanchfield added: “People's limbs would lock up. They would start screaming, wailing – no apparent reason.”

In modern-day terms, cops may be experiencing a conversion disorder – when intense stress is converted into physical symptoms, Blanchfield explained. It's similar to a panic attack.

Blanchfield doesn't think the officers are exaggerating or collapsing on purpose; he believes they are truly scared.

“That suffering is real,” he said.

Policing is a stressful and dangerous job, so hyped-up news stories and police reports about officers who reportedly overdose during drug busts might have led to a contagion effect, in which certain behaviors or actions spread through a group.

“When your whole job is maintaining boundaries, but also those boundaries are unstable and full of contradictions, it's probably not surprising that people develop conversion disorders and contagion fears specifically, that they seize up or act out,” Blanchfield said.

Confusing panic attacks with overdoses has real consequences

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office shows evidence seized after a traffic stop led officers to a major methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking operation in Pixley, California, in January 2020. Tulare County Sheriff’s Office/AP

Police forces are part of a larger misinformation problem, harm-reduction experts say. News articles, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the CDC have all spread hyperbolic, unvetted, or false information about the risk of overdose from touching fentanyl.

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Drug Policy last year, news articles containing misinformation about fentanyl were shared at least 450,000 times on Facebook between 2015 and 2019, potentially reaching upward of 70 million users. By comparison, posts correcting false information about fentanyl were shared just 30,000 times.

Leah Hill, a behavioral health fellow with the Baltimore City Health Department, displays a sample of Narcan nasal spray, January 23, 2018. Patrick Semansky/AP

Misinformation is a threat both to law-enforcement offers and to people who use drugs, since the latter group could be less likely to be rescued during an overdose if responders or witnesses fear for their own lives.

Additionally, those who possess drugs may face harsher sentencing because of this confusion. In 2017, for example, an Ohio police officer told news outlets he'd used his bare hand to brush grains of fentanyl off his uniform during a drug bust. An hour later, he said, he keeled over from an overdose.

The suspect in the drug bust, a 25-year-old, was sentenced to 6.5 years for multiple charges, according to local NBC affiliate WKBN. Among those charges? Assaulting an officer with fentanyl.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Covid news - live: Boris Johnson to announce ‘further measures' as UK finds first two cases of Omicron variant

Boris Johnson is expected to announce “further measures” in a coronavirus press briefing at 5pm, after the UK detected its first two cases of the new Omicron Covid variant. The ... Read more »

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Jr. taunt the WHO for skipping 'Xi' to name the new coronavirus variant 'Omicron'

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (L), Donald Trump Jr. (R).Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images (L), Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (R) The WHO skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet to name the new coronavirus ... Read more »

The James Webb space telescope: in search of the secrets of the Milky Way

Photograph: Dotted Zebra/Alamy Billions of dollars over budget and years late, the most expensive, complex telescope to be sent into space will launch next month. What will it learn? In ... Read more »

Notorious Pegasus spyware faces its day of reckoning

Photograph: Amir Levy/Getty Images The infamous hacking tool is now at the centre of international lawsuits thanks to a courageous research lab If you were compiling a list of the ... Read more »

Best Black Friday laptop deals 2021: Offers on Microsoft, HP, Apple Macbooks and more

(Black Friday) When it comes to bagging a serious bargain, there’s really no better time than Black Friday. The annual sales event is one of the biggest days in the ... Read more »

COPY OF 15 Bose Black Friday deals not to miss — save up to $100

We may receive commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. It’s a Bose bonanza! Score speakers, headphones, earbuds and more at ... Read more »

Final score and commentary: Mack Brown's mastery of rival NC State fizzles in UNC meltdown

Follow along live as UNC football plays at NC State in a rivalry game to end the regular season: RALEIGH — Coach Mack Brown’s run of success against N.C. State ... Read more »

Archaeologists unearth 800-year-old mummy in Peru

A 600-year-old mummy was found in the Mangomarca archaeological site, east of Lima, last year (AFP via Getty Images) Archaeologists have found a mummy estimated to be at least 800 ... Read more »

‘Put the cherry on top': What to watch as UNC can play spoiler role against rival NC State

Coach Mack Brown looks on during North Carolina’s victory against Wake Forest earlier this month. CHAPEL HILL — Knocking rival North Carolina State out of the race for a divisional ... Read more »

Pfizer said an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine will be 'ready in 100 days' if the new Omicron variant is resistant to its current vaccine

© Bryan Woolston/Reuters A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at The University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., December 14, 2020. Bryan ... Read more »

Four more countries added to red list after Omicron variant found in the UK

(AFP via Getty Images) Four more countries have been added to the red list after a new Covid-19 variant was detected in the UK for the first time. Angola, Mozambique, ... Read more »

SpaceX's Starlink has no licence to operate in India and the public should steer clear until it does, say lawmakers

© Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images Starlink has begun taking pre-bookings for the service in India, according to government officials. Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images The Indian government has said ... Read more »

Spanish police protest government plan to reform 'gag law'

1 / 9Spain Police ProtestPolice march past the Spanish parliament during a protest march in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Tens of thousands of Spanish police officers and their ... Read more »

‘I don't believe it': Anger as Nadine Dorries dismisses MP's allegation of groping by Boris Johnson's father

Nadine Dorries says she does not believe a fellow Conservative MP’s allegation that she was groped by Boris Johnson’s father, sparking anger. Caroline Nokes has accused Stanley Johnson of smacking ... Read more »

The Omicron variant carries a number of genetic mutations that might cause it to spread quickly, even among vaccinated people: report

A healthcare worker collects a swab from Bronwen Cook for a PCR test against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before traveling to London, at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South ... Read more »

Moderna plans to produce a booster vaccine shot specifically for the new coronavirus variant Omicron

© KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images Moderna has outlined its strategy to address the new coronavirus variant Omicron. KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images Moderna has outlined its strategy to address ... Read more »

There's an easy way to tax billionaires that would actually work

© Provided by Business Insider Elon Musk recently sold some of his Tesla shares after discussing wealth taxation on Twitter. Picture Alliance/Getty Images The ultra-wealthy avoid paying taxes by using ... Read more »

CCTV shows fierce gun battle between two gangs which left man, 22, dead

CCTV of the shootout in Lozells, Birmingham. (SWNS) Shocking CCTV shows the moment two rival gangs had a gun battle in broad daylight which left a man dead. Naasir Francis, ... Read more »

Amid immigration debate, some states update migrant term

1 / 2Immigration Language StatesRosalidia Dardon, 54, looks at a picture of her daughter in El Salvador as she sits in a refugee house in Texas, awaiting asylum or a ... Read more »

United and Delta say they aren't cutting flights to South Africa as new travel restrictions throw a wrench in the recovery of international travel

© Provided by Business Insider United Airlines and Delta Air Lines both fly to South Africa. vaalaa / Shutterstock.com United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are the only two US ... Read more »

Coffee or Chai? At 2 Kolkata cafes, ‘Adda' is what's really on the menu

Representative image. At one of the cafes, to ask for chai is to invite a gaze of withering contempt from the turbaned waiter, as if blasphemy has been committed: It’s ... Read more »

The US is getting another startup airline, California-based Airbahn

© Provided by Business Insider Airbahn first Airbus A320. Airbahn California-based startup Airbahn received its first Airbus A320 aircraft on Wednesday. The company has teased its launch on social media ... Read more »

A man on a lockdown stroll across English farmland discovered an 'extraordinary' Roman villa with epic Trojan War mosaic

Aerial view of the excavations of a large Roman mosaic in Rutland, England.Historic England Archive A man taking a lockdown walk on his father's farm stumbled across a rare Roman ... Read more »

Oregon-born grey wolf that went on ‘epic' travels around California killed by vehicle

A grey wolf (Getty Images/iStockphoto) An Oregon-born grey wolf that trekked all the way from its home to southern California was killed by a vehicle, authorities have said. A truck ... Read more »

Amazon Shoppers Love This Easy-to-Install Video Doorbell — and It's 30% Off Right Now

ring doorbell Amazon If you're looking for an easier way to monitor your front door and manage visitors in order to feel safer and more comfortable at home, a video ... Read more »

Serial burglar who posed as a police officer to rob elderly is jailed

A serial burglar has been jailed after he gained entry into a dozen vulnerable and elderly people’s homes by tricking them into believing he was a police officer. © Met ... Read more »

Sheridan Smith ‘upset' after ‘not being treated with kindness' on Jonathan Ross Show

Sheridan Smith has reportedly had a backstage row after growing “upset” during her time on The Jonathan Ross Show. The actor and singer, 40, will appear on Saturday’s episode of ... Read more »

Louise Redknapp enjoys wild night out with her 'boys' after ex Jamie welcomes son

Louise Redknapp let her hair down on Friday night to enjoy an evening of music with her “boys” following her ex-husband Jamie Redknapp welcoming a baby with his new wife. ... Read more »

A rare manuscript featuring Albert Einstein's early calculations for his theory of relativity sold for $13 million

A manuscript showing early calculations of Albert Einstein‘s theory of general relativity at Christie’s auction house in Paris.Alain Jocard/Getty Images A rare manuscript with notes made by Albert Einstein was ... Read more »

Small Business Saturday is vital to entrepreneurs — especially this year. Here's how business owners can get the most out of the holiday.

© Peathegee Inc/Getty Images Here are five ways small businesses can prepare for Small Business Saturday this year. Peathegee Inc/Getty Images This year’s Small Business Saturday is the most important ... Read more »

The market's Black Friday freakout about the new variant shows how a reactionary Wall Street rules American life and politics

© Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images Stocks plummeted on Friday as investors braced for the Omicron variant fueling a new round of lockdowns. In one day, the market challenged ... Read more »

From comeback to epic collapse: UNC football takeaways on shocking loss to rival NC State

RALEIGH — North Carolina State started fast and ended fast Friday night, and in between North Carolina went from delivering a comeback victory to suffering an epic collapse. Add another ... Read more »

I'm a Celebrity chaos as ITV show hit by ‘security breach' amid fears more stars will quit

The latest series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! has been hit by chaos in recent days. This year’s crop of stars entered the compound, which was ... Read more »

Omicron variant ‘extremely unlikely' to trigger major new Covid wave in UK, saysvaccine expert

Watch: New Omicron strain of Covid deemed ‘variant of concern’ by WHO A vaccine expert says it is “extremely unlikely” that the new Omicron variant will trigger a major new ... Read more »

Massive search failed to find Stafford couple gone missing: What we know

STAFFORD – After more than 100 volunteers, police officers and firefighters combed the woods of the Warren Grove section of the township, the search for Lorraine and Gary Parker entered ... Read more »

Умер автор бродвейских мюзиклов Стивен Сондхайм

© Фото: Fred Prouser / Reuters Стивен Сондхайм В США умер композитор, поэт и драматург, автор многих бродвейских мюзиклов Стивен Джошуа Сондхайм (Stephen Joshua Sondheim), ему был 91 год. Об ... Read more »

'It's scary': Overdose deaths driven by fentanyl mixed with other drugs

The spike of drug overdose deaths this year and last year has many drug abuse and addiction researchers, doctors and health officials worried about a growing trend among overdose victims ... Read more »

Chair of South African Medical Association says Omicron cases are mild so far, but it's too soon to the determine risk of severe disease

© Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images Doctors Without Borders nurse Bhelekazi Mdlalose performs a COVID-19 test on a health worker at the Vlakfontein Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 13, 2020. ... Read more »

Ava White: Four teens arrested on suspicion of murder in Liverpool after girl, 12, dies

Ava White: Four teens arrested on suspicion of murder in Liverpool after girl, 12, dies Four teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of 12-year-old Ava White ... Read more »

More action needed to protect pupils from anti-vaxxers, say head teachers

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said anti-vax protesters outside schools are “abhorrent” (PA Wire) More must be done to protect children from vaccine misinformation and anti-vax protests outside schools, head teachers ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic