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posted by on Wednesday May 17 2017, @06:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the bad-touch dept.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/16/health/police-fentanyl-overdose-trnd/

A police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after he brushed fentanyl residue off his uniform, allowing the drug to enter his system through his hands. The officer had apparently encountered the opioid earlier in the day while making a drug bust.

"This is scary. He could have walked out of the building and left and he could have passed out while he was driving. You don't even know it's there on his clothes," East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane told CNN.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl 66 comments

With Google, Bitcoins, and USPS, Feds realize it's stupid easy to buy fentanyl

A congressional report released Wednesday lays out just how easy it is for Americans to buy the deadly opioid fentanyl from Chinese suppliers online and have it shipped to them via the government's own postal service. The report also lays out just how difficult the practice will be to stop.

After Googling phrases such as "fentanyl for sale," Senate investigators followed up with just six of the online sellers they found. This eventually led them to 500 financial transaction records, accounting for about $766 million worth of fentanyl entering the country and at least seven traceable overdose deaths.

[...] "Thanks to our bipartisan investigation, we now know the depth to which drug traffickers exploit our mail system to ship fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into the United States," Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said in a statement. "The federal government can, and must, act to shore up our defenses against this deadly drug and help save lives."

Related: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Tip for Darknet Drug Lords: Don't Wear Latex Gloves to the Post Office
Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses
Congress Reacts to Reports that a 2016 Law Hindered DEA's Ability to go after Opioid Distributors
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan


Original Submission

120 Pounds (54 kg) of Fentanyl Seized in Nebraska 35 comments

Record US fentanyl bust 'enough to kill 26 million people'

Nearly 120lbs (54kg) of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller, has been seized by police in Nebraska - one of the largest busts in US history.

The drugs, seized last month, could kill over 26 million people, according to estimates by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Police found the fentanyl in a fake compartment of a lorry. The driver and a passenger were arrested.

[...] It was the largest seizure of fentanyl in state history, Nebraska State Patrol said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

[...] Just 2mg of fentanyl - or a few grains of table salt - is a lethal dosage for most people, and even exposure can cause a fatal reaction, according to the DEA.

Another estimate: they could make 260 million people pain-free for a day.

Bonus story:

Mussels test positive for opioids in Seattle's Puget Sound

Scientists at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife have found that mussels in Seattle's waters are testing positive for opioids. The finding suggests "a lot of people" are taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound, researchers say.

Also at the Puget Sound Institute.

Related: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
British Medical Journal Calls for Legalizing All Drugs


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:15AM (#510952)

    Overdose was intentional to give cops an excuse to wear full body armor at all times. Cops are at war with the People who they insist upon calling Civilians even though Cops are civilians and not military.

    Beautify America! KILL THE COPS

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:26AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:26AM (#510955)

    Unexpectedly clean opioids often catch out dabblers leading to overdose.

    Or of cause it got into his system because he brushed it off his clothes. I don't think he would accept that excuse from a purp.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:31AM (#510956)

      No your honor I don't know how the bullet got into the cop's brain. I certainly didn't shoot the motherfucking pig. Maybe he was cleaning his ear with his own gun.

    • (Score: 1) by Brujer on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:40AM

      by Brujer (6600) on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:40AM (#511596)

      It is not possible, at least not according to my anesthetist wife. It is really not possible to overdose just by brushing it off of clothes. Maybe he had an allergic reaction or had he inhaled it. Another plausible explanation ca also be that it was combined with other drugs/opioids.
      I made an account just to comment on this.

  • (Score: 2) by Entropy on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:33AM (1 child)

    by Entropy (4228) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:33AM (#510957)

    How much is this stuff? lol.

    • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:54AM

      by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:54AM (#510962)

      Quite cheap, in the hospital. On the street...

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:39AM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:39AM (#510959)

    terrible, if genuinely an accident.

    I have to ask, though: how hard did he rub?

    --
    (Score: tau, Irrational)
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:43AM (2 children)

    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:43AM (#510960) Journal

    It's potent, but not THAT potent. If he was given narcan, he should have felt better instantly, but whatever was really wrong with him took a few hours to go away. Oddly, none of the people arrested were affected even though they were actually in the car breathing when they spilled some on the floor. Tolerance only goes so far.

    Of course it's mostly become popular on the street due to the war on drugs since a huge number of doses will fit into a small space.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @08:13AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @08:13AM (#510964)

      Sounds like something someone would mix into KY jelly.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @08:43AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @08:43AM (#510973)

        If you've got to store them up your ass anyway, you might as well enjoy the ride!

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by kaszz on Wednesday May 17 2017, @11:30AM (10 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @11:30AM (#511003) Journal

    Regarding potency: "Fentanyl is a potent opioid analgesic - a 25 µg per hour fentanyl patch equates to daily doses of oral morphine of upto 90 mg." says British MHRA and CHM. The Morphine minimum lethal dose is 200 mg as a comparison. A human eyelash hair has a weight of ~70 µg.

    Fentanyl has a therapeutic index of 270. Which is the ratio between the effective and toxic dose, this means its "safe" provided medical monitoring is done. Intranasal fentanyl is available in doses of 50, 100, and 200 µg. Which may give a hint into what level that may affect a human.

    The toxic side effect seems to be suppression of breathing which most likely explains why the person fainted. So while driving a car may be fatal. Falling down outdoors may be survivable provided the respiratory suppression don't go too deep. If the hands were sweaty or if the person breathed it in. An accident like this seems very probable. How penetrable the skin is to random dust is not really clear but as this substance is administered using skin patches it's not inconceivable.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @03:22PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @03:22PM (#511140)

      Of some interest? LSD doses were (40+ years ago...) claimed to be about 100 microgram, so in the same range?

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday May 17 2017, @04:46PM

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday May 17 2017, @04:46PM (#511213) Journal

        That's about right in terms of order of magnitude, although doses have dropped in recent decades:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysergic_acid_diethylamide#Dosage [wikipedia.org]

        In the mid-1960s, the most important black market LSD manufacturer (Owsley Stanley) distributed acid at a standard concentration of 270 µg,[85] while street samples of the 1970s contained 30 to 300 µg. By the 1980s, the amount had reduced to between 100 and 125 µg, dropping more in the 1990s to the 20–80 µg range,[86] and even more in the 2000s (decade).

        That is assuming that the dose is LSD at all and not one of the many lookalike chemicals (such as these [wikipedia.org]).

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @06:02PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @06:02PM (#511260)

        8 hours(*) times 25µg/h is 200µg so not quite as potent but almost, but further investigation is needed: i need to try both so that i can tell whether the results are comparable in magnitude (although obviously different in details). redoing the experiment several times with different dosages and making a graph out of them is probably a good idea too.

        *) typical length of an lsd trip, i've heard

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:04PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:04PM (#511306) Journal

          I think you have to consider biological half times too. In order to get the dosage comparison correct. I know that becomes hard math, but that's the way nature is shaped.

          So a dose is delivered and the amount of active substance is then turned into half after x amount of time. Such that y amount of substance is active at a specific instance of time. If another dose is delivered then that is added on top of the first.

          Morphine: half-life 2-3 h, bio-availability 20-40% (orally), 36-71% (rectally), 100% (IV/IM)
          Fentanyl: half-life 10–20 min (T1/2 β) 2–4 h (T1/2 ɣ) Intranasal: 6.5 m Transdermal: 20–27 h Sublingual/buccal (single dose): 5.4–6.3 h, bio-availability 92% (transdermal) 89% (intranasal) 50% (buccal) 33% (ingestion)
          Carfentanil: half-life 7.7 h, bio-availability --
          LSD: half-life 3.6 h, bio-availability 71%

          Potency:
          Morphine: x1
          Fentanyl: x100
          Carfentanil: x10 000
          LSD: Looking at minimum dose of 20 µg it seems on par with Fentanyl.

          What is the reason to use LSD ? It can really mess up the mental state.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday May 17 2017, @04:58PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday May 17 2017, @04:58PM (#511224) Journal

      (reply for you and AC)

      LSD would appear to have a therapeutic index somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000, if I'm reading this [mangu.tv] right. 1,000 would be the conservative estimate. Cannabis is even higher [tumblr.com] (chart by NORML).

      This page has a different index for fentanyl [wikipedia.org]:

      There is no significant difference between the therapeutic indices [median lethal dose (LD50) / median antinociceptive dose (AD50)] between fentanyl and (±)cis-3-carbomethoxy- fentanyl: 858.1 (444.9–1654.7) and 918.5 (392.8–2147.5), respectively. This finding suggested that both substances are equally safe in mice. [8]

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    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 17 2017, @08:42PM (4 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @08:42PM (#511368)

      Sweaty back of the hand skin could take up 500ug from dust on the clothes, though it would seem unlikely to happen by complete accident - still, with enough cops busting enough drug dealers it doesn't have to be likely to happen...

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:16AM (3 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:16AM (#511592) Journal

        Accumulation below threshold and then just a small amount to tip the dose over into a effective one?

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:51AM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 18 2017, @11:51AM (#511639)

          I agree with the skeptics here, most likely he "tried some" and got more than he should have - but... it's not inconceivable that the dosing was completely accidental.

          As you say, the final push over the pass-out threshold could have been accidentally delivered with a brush of the hand on invisible residue - with a heavier dose given earlier some other way.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday May 18 2017, @12:06PM (1 child)

            by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18 2017, @12:06PM (#511645) Journal

            I'm thinking that the police got in touch with the substance for a long time during the work day, and then some fluke event took place. But I think the only way to really find out is likely to test if powder really can do this kind of accidental effect. Not that I think it will be done.. Maybe the police union might be interested as work related hazard?

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 18 2017, @12:16PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 18 2017, @12:16PM (#511650)

              I don't doubt that it can be done - LSD and other skin-absorbable drugs can dose and overdose like that - the question might be: can it be done with a small accidental, hard to notice exposure, or do you have to basically bathe in it?

              Also, powder in the air? Certainly easier to get into the bloodstream that way.

  • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday May 17 2017, @12:10PM (6 children)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 17 2017, @12:10PM (#511023) Journal

    Skin absorption? Why do I have the feeling he was picking his nose and eating it when he accidently ingersted the drug?

    • (Score: 2) by Ellis D. Tripp on Wednesday May 17 2017, @02:03PM

      by Ellis D. Tripp (3416) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @02:03PM (#511095)
      Or he brushed it off his uniform, and onto the donut he was eating....
      --
      "Society is like stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you end up with a lot of scum on the top!"--Edward Abbey
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by chewbacon on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:49PM (4 children)

      by chewbacon (1032) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:49PM (#511248)

      I've delivered fentanyl to patients and have had it all over my hands before and had no problems. This is really intriguing... bullshit. Usual conscious sedation dose is 25-50 micrograms per kilogram intravenous injection. Residue through the skin? Bullshit.

      • (Score: 2) by chewbacon on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:52PM (1 child)

        by chewbacon (1032) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:52PM (#511249)

        Errr .5-1 mcg per kg. Usually delivered doses between 25-50 for initial sedating dose. Maybe he chewed on a fentanyl patch? Nurses have dropped dead doing that.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:58PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:58PM (#511256)

          Watched too many Hollywood movies, arrested dealer, confiscated product, used knife to open bag to see what the white powder was...
          The question is whether he took the powder on a dare, by curiosity, of just by cleaning his tool...

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:10PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:10PM (#511309) Journal

        I think the shape of the molecules matter and also if your hands are sweaty etc. It's like electricity, depending on circumstances the same voltage can be lethal or just shocking. When viruses are used by the military, it's essential how they are processed if they are going to have any significant effect. Which is why it takes government labs and not amateurs to be dangerous on a large scale.

      • (Score: 1) by purple_cobra on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:21PM

        by purple_cobra (1435) on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:21PM (#511811)

        Friend of a friend was prescribed fentanyl patches when he had terminal lung cancer. He told me at the time they were commonly abused by addicts who would put the patch on the skin, then use a hairdryer to warm it as that would increase the absorption rate. I've never looked it up - never had the need to do so - but this guy's story does sound rather fanciful. Different people have different reactions to various drugs, of course, and I'm not a doctor/pharmacist.
        On a related note, I'm prescribed codeine for rheumatic problems and given its ability to act as arse cement, I shudder to think how much worse fentanyl would be in that regard. I suspect lactulose wouldn't do much in terms of counteracting it.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @01:12PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @01:12PM (#511062)

    Fentanyl is 100x more potent than morphine.
    But Carfentanil is 10,000x more potent than morphine.

    Carfentanil is the most potent commercial opioid in the world — 10,000 times stronger than morphine — and law enforcement from northwest Canada to the eastern U.S. have raised alarms about it tainting heroin batches, and even being sold as the drug itself.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/12/a-new-front-in-the-opioid-war-elephant-tranquilizer/ [washingtonpost.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @01:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @01:21PM (#511069)

      Fentanyl is 100x more potent than morphine.
      But Carfentanil is 10,000x more potent than morphine.

      Finally! A car analogy! I fee so much better now.

      Thank you, different AC!

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday May 17 2017, @01:38PM (2 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @01:38PM (#511083) Journal

      Scary that China let Carfentanil to be sold freely until March 1, 2017. But is that substance possible to produce for mortals without access to advanced laboratories or the aid of chemistry professors?

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @02:50PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @02:50PM (#511117)

        Doesn't matter. If China won't make it then Iran and North Korea will.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:13PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday May 17 2017, @07:13PM (#511311) Journal

          It's a lot easier to order from China..
          Logistics matters.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:46PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17 2017, @05:46PM (#511246)

      What about lofentanil?

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:46AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18 2017, @08:46AM (#511598) Journal

        Yeah, lofentanil seems similar to Carfentanil. But I find no data on half-life or bioavailability.

        (did find Metkefamide during searches however)

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