Two suspected drug dealers were allegedly conducting business when Ohio police officer Chris Green of East Liverpool pulled them over to search their car. Police observed the pair engaging in behavior “consistent with a drug transaction,” according to NBC News, which ultimately nearly killed the police officer tasked with the search.
Green, a five-year veteran of the East Liverpool police force, wore protective gear—a mask and gloves—to conduct the search of the blue Chevy Monte Carlo. But when he returned to the station, another officer noticed a small amount of white powder on Green’s shirt; Green brushed it off with his bare hand, and that was nearly a fatal mistake.
The powder turned out to be fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is sold under a number of street names, including:
- China Girl
- China White
- Dance Fever
- Murder 8
- Tango and Cash
The drug binds to opioid receptors in the brain. The problem? In addition to hanging out in the areas that cause or control pain, those receptors are in the parts of the brain that control breathing. High doses of opioids can cause breathing to stop completely, and because fentanyl is so potent, the risk of overdose is extreme.
Green absorbed the fentanyl powder, which the two suspects had tried to grind into the carpet of the vehicle, through his hand. According to his police department, it took four doses of Narcan to revive green after he lost consciousness about an hour after brushing away the powder.
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