Synthetic opioid residue poses public health risk, say Georgia police

Brian Zimmerman - Print  | 

The Marrieta (Ga.) Police Department on Monday warned the general public about the dangers of synthetic opioids in public spaces.

The nation's recent surge in overdoses — caused by the synthetic opioids fentanyl and carfentanil — spurred the alert. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil, initially manufactured as an elephant tranquilizer, is 100 times more potent than fentanyl. The narcotics are so potent, individuals can experience an overdose by simply touching residual amounts of the substances.

The department advises individuals to avoid touching any residue they encounter and call 911 immediately.

"For the purposes of both public health and public safety, citizens everywhere should beware that fentanyl or carfentanil may be present in public places, and it is necessary to take precautions," said the police department. "When in public places, or private places previously occupied by strangers, the public should be alert to the possibility of the presence of fentanyl residue."  

More articles on opioids: 
3 care practices can help lower mortality among patients with opioid use disorder, study finds  
Michigan physicians wrote 11M opioid prescriptions in 2016: 5 things to know 
STAT projection: Opioid overdoses could kill more than 650k Americans in the next 10 years


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