Bodycam footage from the Tavares Police Department is the latest addition to the nationwide fentanyl panic that has turned police departments across the country into collections of fainting goats.
Though you cannot overdose on fentanyl by touching it, Tavares Police Officer Courtney Bannick suffered some distressing symptoms after a traffic stop on Tuesday night. She was treated by her fellow officers after they heard choking sounds coming from her radio. They administered Narcan on the officer three times before she came back to her senses.
Other police at the scene say they believe Bannick came in contact with fentanyl while handling dollar bills that had the opioid on it. They noted that she was wearing gloves while handling the bills and hypothesized that some of the fentanyl got into her system on — and this is serious here — a gust of wind.
As we have said manytimes before, the danger of fentanyl lies in the way it kills people who use drugs. Its propensity for turning up in other drugs that are frequently taken at much higher doses and its relative potency compared to other opioids make it a dangerous drug to ingest.
Passive fentanyl exposure is extremely unlikely to cause an overdose. If you need proof, look outside your front door. The entire country is suffering through an opioid crisis exacerbated by fentanyl's spread. Yet only cops manage to fall out from being in the room with the drug. If "fentanyl exposure" were a true risk, you would hear more about it from regular people (and medical professionals who administer the opioid in professional settings). In Tavares, as elsewhere, what we are witnessing is a panic attack brought on by fears of fentanyl that the cops have helped create.
If you want an infinitely more provable story out of the Tavares Police Department, why not take a look at the bodycam footage of one of their officers using a taser on a man inside his own home? And take a second to consider the ways that the news cycle and SEO can push one story out of discussion.