*Health care experts are giving the side-eye to a recent video showing a rookie cop allegedly overdosing on fentanyl.
We previously reported that the disturbing footage was released by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The clip shows a rookie’s overdose while examining synthetic Fentanyl.
As reported by Complex, the bodycam footage was captured on July 3 and shows Deputy David Faiivae in a parking lot testing a white substance believed to be fentanyl or cocaine. Corporal Scott Crane is heard warning Faiivae to be careful while handling the substance.
“That’s stuff’s no joke, dude,” he said. “That’s super dangerous.”
Moments later, Faiivae collapses on the pavement. Watch the clip below.
“I ran over to him. I grabbed him. He was OD’ing,” Crane said in a PSA video about the dangers of fentanyl. “I went to my trunk, grabbed the Narcan.”
The deputy survived the incident, but now fact-checkers are not buying it.
“You cannot overdose just by touching fentanyl or another opioid and you cannot overdose just by being around it,” Dr Ryan Marino, Medical Director of Toxicology & Addiction at University Hospitals, Cleveland, told Reuters. “It will not get into the air and cause anyone to overdose.”
As seen in the clip, the deputy does not appear to consume the substance.
“You cannot overdose through accidental contact,” added Dr. Marino. “People do overdose accidentally, but it is people who are using drugs and either not expecting fentanyl or carfentanil, or something like that, or people who get an unknown dose because they are buying drugs from the street, so overdose that way.”
Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, noted that the video “simply creates more fear and irrational panic that fuels further punitive responses to the overdose crisis, instead of the public health approach we need,” per the Associated Press.
“There’s zero chance that it was caused by fentanyl exposure, in this case. … You would need to be in a room where lots of powder was constantly in the air for hours in order to start ingesting enough of it to experience these symptoms,” Leo Beletsky, a professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, told KGTV.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has made clear that he determined that the deputy had overdosed, not a doctor.
“I saw the video. Everybody that saw the video saw him seize up, go down, fall on his head. The drugs tested for fentanyl. It was classic signs of fentanyl overdose—that’s why we called it that,” he said this week, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. “If we were misinformed, so be it. We are trying to correct [it].”
The police department released the footage hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl. The drug is 50 times more potent than heroin.