TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — According to Vertava Health, it only takes 250 micrograms to overdose on fentanyl, and this tiny amount is giving law enforcement officers another risk for which to watch.
Fentanyl is public enemy number one for law enforcement all across the country, and a nearly invisible enemy for all who come in contact with it. Chief Deputy Harold Heatley with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office said deputies are trained to spot the deadly substance.
“We carry the 2mg doses of Narcan. If the deputy opens the door to a house or a vehicle and they suspect that there’s maybe some contamination of fentanyl, we encourage them to remove themselves and remove the people,” said Heatley.
Heatley said fentanyl is being cut in many of the drugs being sold on the streets, furthering the risk for law enforcement.
“We’re finding it in marijuana, we’re finding it in heroin, we’re finding it in meth, we’re finding it in pills, so it’s out there. A lot of drug dealers are using fentanyl to increase the potency of what it is that they’re selling,” said Heatley.
He said because of that, they treat everything as hazardous.
“Our deputies are gloved up, Narcan at the ready. But if it’s in a closed container, we don’t even open it. We will send it to the lab and when they open it at the lab it will be in a closed, contained environment. There will be no possibility of human contact and they’ll test it there,” said Heatley.
He said his deputies know to use extra caution when dealing with any kind of illicit substance.
“We just have to be careful. We preach that to our deputies a lot, to be mindful, be careful of what you’re dealing with out here. It can kill you, quickly,” said Heatley.