Omnipresent Fentanyl Copaganda Is Turning Normal Citizens Into Fainting Goats
from the sowing-fear,-harvesting-hysteria dept
For a few years now, uninformed police officials have been making America stupider by pushing the narrative that fentanyl is so dangerous, simply being near it is possibly fatal. Ignoring the fact that drugs must be ingested in some form to do what they’re supposed to do, law enforcement agencies have repeatedly made absurd, completely false claims about the dangerousness of certain drugs merely existing in proximity of responding officers.
Every year, police officers claim to have suffered near-fatal overdoses after accidentally touching fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than morphine or heroin.
“Deputy Nearly Dies of Fentanyl Overdose,” read a headline from the Sacramento Bee this summer. “Officer Exposed to Fentanyl & Transported to Local Hospital,” stated a press release from the Santa Rosa Police Department in 2020. “Police Officer Overdoses After Brushing Fentanyl Powder Off His Uniform,” read the headline on a CNN story from 2017.
These stories detail exposure to fentanyl, not ingestion. And while there are fentanyl patches that deliver the drug transdermally, the dosage is meted out over a matter of hours, not mere seconds.
These hysterical reports are often accompanied by breathless statements and “shocking” recordings of officers supposedly succumbing to an accidental overdose triggered by incidental contact. In the worst cases, these reports are accompanied by arrests for assaulting police officers, even though it was the officers “assaulting” themselves by touching drugs and succumbing to self-induced panic attacks.
Cops are being trained to respond to possible fentanyl exposure in this fashion. The training is indirect. Cops are trained to handle the drug cautiously. But the copaganda targeting fentanyl encourages them to treat, say, the expected rush of adrenaline from a drug bust as the onset of an accidental overdose. The myth perpetuates. (Dis)function follows form. Cops are fainting goats, but ones capable of triggering their own paralysis.
Ignorance is contagious. Regular people are buying into the police narrative and making themselves look just as ridiculous as the law enforcement officials incorrecting the public about the dangers of fentanyl.
A pit stop in Bellevue took a terrifying turn for a Kentucky family Sunday night.
Renee Parsons said she picked up a dollar bill off the ground at the McDonald’s on Highway 70 and soon passed out.
It was only a matter of minutes after picking up the dollar bill that Renee Parsons felt as though she couldn’t breathe and her body began to feel numb.
“I couldn’t even breathe. It’s almost like a burning sensation, if you will, that starts here at your shoulders, and then it just goes down because it’s almost like it’s numbing your entire body,” Parsons explained.
Her husband then rushed Renee to the hospital. He also supposedly experienced some side effects (apparently from being near someone in the throes of an alleged fentanyl overdose). The couple also said their son experienced some minor symptoms. Renee Parsons was released.
Apparently no fentanyl was found in her system, but she and her husband feel it’s the science that’s wrong, not their unsupported suspicions.
The family says the toxicology report doesn’t test for synthetic drugs, but they feel confident fentanyl or a similar drug was on the money.
Never mind the professionals. Here’s all the evidence anyone needs.
Justin Parsons is now convinced his wife had a reaction to some sort of drug, he thinks fentanyl, that was on that dollar bill she picked up.
“I worked in law enforcement for 10 or 12 years and I observed a couple of incidents like this and it was very similar,” he said.
Well… maybe don’t ask every law enforcement professional. Otherwise, the narrative might not hold up.
According to the police department, the [responding] officer asked Parsons if she had received a clinical drug called Narcan, a lifesaving medication given to counter the effects of narcotic overdose. Parsons told the officer she didn’t receive Narcan.
The officer inspected the dollar bill and didn’t see any residue on it that would indicate the presence of a drug. Mumford said the dollar bill was disposed of without being tested, because there was no evidence that a crime had been committed.
“It was the officer’s opinion that this would not have been have been a fentanyl overdose,” Mumford said in a phone interview with Snopes.
Medical experts, researchers, and actual professionals in the drug field (as opposed to those solely in the business of busting drug dealers and users) all agree: what’s described in instances like these is almost impossible.
“You cannot overdose just by touching fentanyl or another opioid and you cannot overdose just by being around it,” said Dr Ryan Marino, medical director of Toxicology & Addiction at University Hospitals, Cleveland. “It will not get into the air and cause anyone to overdose.”
Don’t trust this doctor? Here’s some actual research backed by actual science:
[I]ncidental dermal absorption is unlikely to cause opioid toxicity. If bilateral palmar surfaces were covered with fentanyl patches, it would take ∼14 min to receive 100 mcg of fentanyl (using a body surface area of 17,000 cm2, palm surface area of 0.5%, and fentanyl absorption of 2.5 mcg/cm2/h. This extreme example illustrates that even a high dose of fentanyl prepared for transdermal administration cannot rapidly deliver a high dose.
The above calculation is based on fentanyl patch data, which overestimates the potential exposure from drug in tablet or powder form in several ways. Drug must have sufficient surface area and moisture to be efficiently absorbed. Medicinal transdermal fentanyl utilizes a matrix designed to optimize delivery, whereas tablets and powder require dissolution for absorption. Relatedly, powdered drug sits on the skin, whereas patches have adhesive to hold drug in close proximity to the skin allowing both to remain moist. Finally, the above quoted figure 2.5 mcg/cm2/h represents delivery at steady state after drug has penetrated the dermis, which overestimates the amount of absorption in the first few minutes of dermal exposure. This initial period is of most relevance in unintentional exposure, because fentanyl that is observed on skin can be rapidly removed by mechanical (brushing) means or cleansing with water. Therefore, based on our current understanding of the absorption of fentanyl and its analogs, it is very unlikely that small, unintentional skin exposures to tablets or powder would cause significant opioid toxicity, and if toxicity were to occur, it would not develop rapidly, allowing time for removal.
Here’s more, from Lewis Nelson, the director of the Division of Medical Toxicology at Rutgers Medical School:
There is clear evidence that passive exposure to fentanyl does not result in clinical toxicity. Descriptions of the signs and symptoms of those who have supposedly experienced passive toxicity vary widely. They include dizziness, blurry vision, pallor, weakness, sweatiness, high blood pressure, chest pain, heart palpitations, anxiety, and occasionally seizure-like activity. These findings are usually transient and resolve on their own, often far faster than would be expected, and are incompatible with the known duration of the drug’s effect. What’s more, they aren’t consistent with the signs and symptoms of opioid poisoning — the triad of slowed breathing, decreased consciousness, and pinpoint pupils.
It’s not like this information hasn’t been out there for years. The previous two quotes come from articles/research that were published in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Every time a story like this makes the rounds, it is immediately debunked. And yet the cop narrative (now being carried forward by ex-cop spouses) — that fentanyl in any amount, engaged with in almost any way, can result in an overdose — continues to thrive. Facts just can’t compete with viral stories or law enforcement’s proprietary take on incidental fentanyl contact.
Cops are constantly told to engage in irrational fear. Irresponsible media outlets that uncritically circulate law enforcement’s false assertions and some rando’s colorful story about tainted dollar bills are making everyone stupider, ensuring there will always be more stories like these in the future.