First responders at risk of overdosing when dealing with opioid cases
DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WJAR) —
Dartmouth police are using an incident in Ohio to warn its officers of the dangers of responding to opioid overdose calls.
In that incident, a responding officer came into contact with carfentanyl, a highly toxic chemical that is added to heroin to make it stronger. In its pure form, when it comes in contact with the skin, it’s potentially lethal.
The Ohio officer was rushed to the hospital, where he was administered the overdose antidote, Naloxone.
In Dartmouth, Capt. James Storey said officers respond to these types of calls in pairs. Both are armed with Naloxone.
"We're trained to keep an eye on each other," said Storey. "When we leave, we check each other to make sure we're all set."
In Massachusetts, the Good Samaritan Law allows people to call police if someone is overdosing without risk of penalty for drug possession.
Storey said people should not hesitate to call police in these scenarios.