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Police using precaution after officer overdoses brushing heroin off uniform

A police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio, has recovered and could soon go back to work after a health scare with heroin. (Courtesy: CNN Newsource/WFMJ)

A police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio, has recovered and could soon go back to work after a health scare with heroin.

He accidentally overdosed after brushing Fentanyl off his uniform. That officer needed several doses of Naloxone to survive.

"Heroin enough was a tragedy watching our loved ones die," said Kim Burch, who has a son battling heroin addiction. "Now, they're expanding it with Fentanyl and Carfentanyl and the overdose rate and death have just skyrocketed from it."

She said she's worried after hearing the people often helping her son, if he overdoses, are at risk for overdosing themselves.

"I was mortified," she said. "These people who are trying to protect us and although he did the right thing to begin with, he had just enough in his shirt to touch."

Columbus Police officers carry rubber gloves and respirators at all times.

"This isn't new per se, but it's just a different type of drug that's a little more dangerous," said Sgt. Rich Weiner with the Columbus Division of Police. "The results are deadlier than we used to face in the past."

Weiner said officers only test drugs in their lab because it's too dangerous to test it at a crime scene.

"Small amounts, that's all it takes with Fentanyl," he said.

Burch said the officer in East Liverpool showed how the heroin epidemic has affected everyone.

"You don't even have to take it anymore to be affected by it," Burch said.

It took several days for that officer to get better.

Some Columbus Police officers carry Naloxone, but not all of them do. Weiner said oftentimes the Columbus Division of Fire will respond to an emergency with Naloxone with them.


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