CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Carmel police officer Tyler Brammer Wolf is used to being on alert.
Feb. 20 was no different.
He got a call that night that he needed to assist another officer in the case of a stolen vehicle, but when he went to search the passenger’s belongings he found a powdery substance.
That substance was fentanyl, the opioid believed to be 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.
Just when Wolf was about to bag it for evidence, the wind caught the powder and blew it into the air.
He began to get light headed, his fingers went numb and a couple of minutes later he was on the ground.
“You never expect it until it’s happening,” Wolf said.
Officers gave him NARCAN (naloxone HCl) to counter the effects and then took him to the hospital and after an hour treatment he was back to normal.
Now he’s warning other officers to be on the lookout.
“Just a little granule, like a couple granules of salt touching on your skin can be absorbed and that’s enough to knock a person out and overdose on,” he said.
Wolf isn’t sure exactly how much of the drug got in his system because it was airborne.
“That’s the scary part about it.”
Now that he knows, he plans to double check and be more than prepared for these kinds of situations.
“I’m going to stop immediately, back away, make sure that I’ve got gloves on, make sure that everyone around me is aware,” he said.
With the powerful and dangerous drug out there, Wolf hopes that officers and people all over are taking notice.
“It’s everywhere and for every other officer out there I would just say take the extra steps and take the extra time.”
That extra time could be the difference between you and the emergency room.
Fentanyl is a prescription drug most commonly used to treat pain.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the illegally used fentanyl most often associated with recent overdoses is made in labs. This synthetic fentanyl is sold illegally as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids.
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