Police say an Ohio officer suffered an accidental overdose after a drug arrest when he touched powder on his shirt without realizing it was the powerful opiod fentanyl.
Officer Chris Green was involved in a traffic stop on May 12 when a white powder ended up on his skin, causing him to overdose. Narcan, a life-saving anti-overdose drug, was administered to Green, saving his life, according to multiple reports.
The incident started when East Liverpool police tried to pull over a car that had reportedly been seen at a drug transaction. The passenger was Cortez Collins, 24, of Cleveland. Collins had active warrants out for his arrest.
Confronted by police, Collins reportedly tried to smear a white powdery substance into the carpeted floor of his car. Green saw this and tried to stop him. The two struggled, and Green ended up getting fentanyl on his skin.
After the confrontation, Green began feeling dizzy, WMFJ reports. He returned to the police station and nearly passed out. It was determined that Green was experiencing an accidental overdose. Four doses of Narcan were administered to Green, CBS reports.
Green was fine by May 14, WKBN says. But Green’s accidental overdose is another example of Ohio’s opiate epidemic and its dangers for police, as well as the public at large.
In October 2016, the Democratic staff of the Senate Finance Committee released a report that called Ohio the “face of the nation’s opioid epidemic.” For Northeast Ohio, 2017 is shaping up to be the deadliest year ever for opioid deaths. Sixty people died from heroin or fentanyl overdoses in February in Cuyahoga County alone.
Fentanyl has specifically led to thousands of deaths throughout the state. In 2014, there were 503 fentanyl overdose deaths. In 2015, there were 1,155, according to the Ohio Department of Health.