The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a roll call video Friday warning law enforcement officers about the dangers of improper handling of fentanyl, an opioid the DEA estimates can be 50 times as strong as heroin.
The video includes acting DEA Deputy Administrator Jack Riley and two New Jersey police detectives who recalled recently coming in contact with fentanyl. The two officers experienced side-affects after being exposed to a small amount of fentanyl.
“I thought that was it. I thought I was dying. It felt like my body was shutting down,” one of the detectives says in the video.
The drug is being used to cut heroin, with some dealers unaware of what they’re selling and providing it to users without knowing its potency. The DEA issues a nationwide alert about fentanyl on March 18, according to the release. The drug is a scheduled II narcotic in the U.S. Officials believe the opioid is produced in Mexico and is also shipped directly from China.
“Fentanyl can kill you,” Riley said in the release. “Fentanyl is being sold as heroin in virtually every corner of our country…It is 40 to 50 times stronger than street-level heroin. A very small amount ingested, or absorbed through your skin, can kill you.”
To watch the full video, go to http://go.usa.gov/chBWW. To learn more about Fentanyl, visit the DEA’s webpage on the narcotic, which was first synthesized in Belgium in the late 1950s, according to the site.
-Esteban L. Hernandez, New Haven Register