KENT COUNTY, Mich. – A local detective had to receive a dosage of the overdose-reversal drug Narcan Tuesday, after officials say he may have come into contact with a dangerous substance he was testing.
The Wyoming detective, aiding the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team with the testing of an unknown white, powdery substance began to feel ill, nauseas, and experienced increased heart rate in the middle of testing.
He was immediately issued a dosage of Narcan and rushed to the hospital, where he was stabilized and later released.
“We are very, very blessed and fortunate to have the ability to provide our officers with Narcan,” said Chief Deputy Kevin Kelley with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. “There’s really no harmful effects in administering it so it’s better safe than sorry.”
A hazmat team cleared the fourth floor, where the detective’s bureau is located, just hours after conducting air quality tests. It was the only floor of the building they shut down.
The event is a staunch reminder that even if you aren’t using an opiate or fentanyl, they can still pose a danger to those handling the substances.
“They are dangerous, and it’s the new world of policing – it’s the new threat to law enforcement and all first responders,” said Lt. Al Roetman, head of KANET. “Especially for the incidental exposures – the young child or the first responder or parent being nosey…”
This week, Governor Rick Snyder approved a standing order from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services that would allow Narcan to be sold over pharmacy counters – with no restrictions on refills.
“It’s just that effective,” said Kelley, “and it’s become a staple within our law enforcement agency.”
As for the public, as drugs become more and more potent, law enforcement wants to remind everyone that the risk is growing, even if you have good intentions.
“Don’t touch it,” said Roetman. “If you see a substance on the side of the road or in a trash can or in a buddy’s car…don’t open it.”
“It’s terrible, it can happen to anyone,” he continued. “Talk to your kids, talk to your loved ones. Be safe.”