In opioid crisis, a new risk for police: accidental overdose

Written by Juliet Linderman - The Associated Press | May 27, 2017 10:45 AM

(Bel Air, MD) -- A deputy's nearly fatal overdose while investigating a drug scene recently underscores the dangers faced by those fighting the U.S. drug epidemic.

Cpl. Kevin Phillips of the Harford County Sheriff's Office in Maryland says he investigated the scene as he's done with countless others, putting on gloves and putting evidence in bags.

But this time he was exposed to an extremely potent synthetic opiate that sickened him, requiring a dose of the life-saving antidote Narcan.

Officials say the drug that sickened him, carfentanil, is being used by dealers to help stretch their heroin supplies.

Now, the sheriff's office has purchased 100 kits with protective suits.

Deputies have been instructed not to field test drugs, but send evidence to a lab.

And deputies are carrying higher doses of Narcan.

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