Contrary to some media reports, passive exposure to fentanyl and other ultra-potent opioids does not result in intoxication or overdose, and these drugs are not resistant to naloxone. While we must avoid hysteria on this topic, there is reason to fear fentanyl. Emerging data from harm reduction organizations indicates fentanyl is present in most samples of heroin and many samples of non-opioid illicit drugs. The documents linked below provide additional information for first responders.
Scene Safety & Force Protection in the Era of Ultra-Potent Opioids
Preventing Occupational Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analog Exposure to Emergency Responders
Fentanyl Facts and Fiction: A Safety Guide for First Responders
Fentanyl test strips may be helpful in evaluating whether a drug sample contains ultra-potent opioids. Many local harm reduction coalitions, such as the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, are distributing fentanyl test strips. Check out the video below for more information about their use.