DEA issues new guidelines for handling fentanyl

The DEA came out with new guidelines today for police and other first responders who commonly come in to contact with opioids.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - As health experts and local police agencies addressed Michigan's opioid crisis Tuesday at Western Michigan University' Grand Rapids campus, the Drug Enforcement Agency released new guidelines for first responders who deal with the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

"Please do not field test any substance you think might contain fentanyl," said Chuck Rosenberg of the DEA.

All first responders who may encounter the deadly drug are recommended to use gloves, masks and hazmat-like suits to ensure their safety. The DEA also recommends Naloxone injectors are nearby, in case of contamination.

Just last week, a detective with Wyoming Public Safety became ill after coming into contact with a mixture of heroin and benadryl. The officer was injected with an overdose-reversal agent for precautionary reasons.

The detective is recovering.

"What’s changed a lot for us is that in the process of handling it. We don’t handle substances on the road," said state police trooper Kristi Angelo. "It goes directly to the lab."

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