Fentanyl: A growing problem for law enforcement

Fentanyl is a dangerous substance used in the medical field. It's an opioid pain medication that has a rapid onset and lasts only a short time. It's extremely potent, so only a small amount is ever used.

Fentanyl has the potential to enter the body through multiple pathways. Although it's typically administered through IV during general anesthesia, it can also be applied via patch through the skin. Since it can pass through the skin, those working to combat the illicit use of fentanyl are in serious danger.

The powder can quickly lead to an overdose, and those without access to an antidote could be killed. That's why the Wisconsin police are now taking any unidentified powders to the state crime lab. There, the powders can be tested safely.

Several officers, including one in Menasha, have nearly overdosed on fentanyl without even knowing they came into contact with it. The officer didn't know there was any fentanyl residue on the man, because he didn't have drugs or paraphernalia on him. Despite that, the officer found himself overdosing on the drug only a quarter of an hour later. That officer was lucky and able to obtain the antidote.

Fentanyl is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin. As little as 2 milligrams has the potential to be deadly, which is why it's strictly controlled. If you're accused of possessing this substance, you could face harsh penalties in light of the current crack down on heroin and opiate abuse. Your attorney can help you fight back, so you're treated fairly by the courts and prosecution.

Source: Fox6Now, "Police can test substances at state crime lab after concerns about exposure to fentanyl," July 21, 2017

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