EAST LIVERPOOL, OH — Returning to the police station after a drug bust yesterday, East Liverpool police officer Chris Green noticed a white powdery substance on his shirt when another fellow officer pointed it out.
About an hour after simply brushing the substance off, Officer Green collapsed to the floor.
He was quickly injected with Narcan, a lifesaving drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses. Unconscious and picked up by an ambulance, he was injected with Narcan a couple more times in the hospital where he was revived.
Earlier that day, police had blocked in a car they suspected to be dealing drugs with two men inside, Justin Buckle and Cortez Collins, both in their mid-20s. According to police reports, the men were quickly attempting to destroy and hide evidence. As a result, traces of uncontained white powder were spilled all over the car's interior.
Both men were arrested for tampering with evidence. Additional charges are expected.
Even though Officer Green was wearing a mask and gloves when dealing with what was suspected to be crack cocaine at the time, returning to the station and brushing off just a small amount of it with his bare hand was enough contact for the drug to seep deep in his skin and into his bloodstream.
He had overdosed by simply touching the drug fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that can give users a high about five times stronger than heroin and 50 times stronger than morphine, according to experts.
Although fentanyl was first introduced to the medical scene in the 1960s as a controlled substance, only in recent times has it been plaguing the streets. Its potency and rise to popularity among drug users calls for a drastic increase in vigilance for emergency responders around the country, especially giving attention for the need of Narcan to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.
Officer Green is now recovering well and is expected to be back to work soon thanks to the swift reactions of emergency personnel and especially Narcan.