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Officer accidentally overdoses after fentanyl exposure

Police said the suspects smashed drugs into the carpet and the officer accidentally inhaled it and overdosed (Photo: CNN Newsource)

EAST LIVERPOOL, Oh. (WSET) -- The epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction sweeping the nation is becoming increasingly deadly.

One of the reasons is an apparent rise in the illegal use of the powerful painkiller, Fentanyl.

The drug is also threatening the safety of police and first responders.

Friday night in East Liverpool, Ohio and undercover officer accidentally overdosed on what is suspected to be Fentanyl and Carfentanyl, according to WFMJ.

"Chris is a big strong guy he's an ex MMA fighter he's 225 pounds all the muscle and it over took him just like that," said Captain of East Liverpool Police, Patrick Wright.

Police said the officer, Chris Green, pulled over two men suspected of making a drug deal.

When the suspects were pulled over, police said they hurried to try and destroy the drug evidence, smashing the suspected deadly drugs into the carpet of the car.

"Officer Green does a great job and it was just a freak accident that he would accidentally bump up against something while he was searching this vehicle and for him to drop out like that is shocking," Captain Wright said.

Captain Wright said Green passed out within minutes of getting back to the police station.

Officers called 911 and he got a dose of Narcan at the police station before being taken to the hospital where he was given three additional doses of Narcan.

Fentanyl and Carfentanyl contain a substance used in tranquilizing elephants.

Captain Wright said most people think they are using heroin.

"You know heroin kills hundreds of thousands of people a year throughout the United States. Fentanyl is one hundred times stronger than heroin carfentanyl is a thousand times stronger than that," he said.

Now police officers are having to take more precautions when responding to drug calls.

"We have kits in our vehicle that, we have gloves, bags, we double bag all our evidence that we don't know what it is any more because of threat of fentanyl & carfentanyl. We have masks so we don't inhale anything. We have safety goggles so it doesn't absorb through out eyes," Captain Wright said.

Wright said their department no longer field tests drugs for fear they might inhale a deadly substance.

Thankfully, Officer Green is expected to recover.

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