Toxicologist: 'You can't just touch fentanyl and overdose'

Viral video appears to show a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy collapsing from a fentanyl overdose


By EMS1 Staff

SAN DIEGO — A toxicology physician and a paramedic are expressing doubts about a viral video released by the San Diego County Sheriff's department that shows a deputy falling to the ground after investigating a white powder in a vehicle. The video shows the deputy collapsing and then receiving multiple doses of intranasal naloxone from his training officer before being loaded into the ambulance. 

"My trainee was exposed to fentanyl and nearly died," Cpl. Scott Crane said in the video, which is embedded below.

Deputies prepare to give a dose of intranasal naloxone to a deputy they believed had overdosed after an accidental exposure to fentanyl
Deputies prepare to give a dose of intranasal naloxone to a deputy they believed had overdosed after an accidental exposure to fentanyl (San Diego County Sheriff's Department)

"We have a lot of scientific evidence and a good knowledge of chemical laws and the way that these drugs work that says this is impossible," Ryan Marino, medical director for toxicology and addiction at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said in an NBC News interview.

"You can't just touch fentanyl and overdose," Marino said. "It doesn't just get into the air and make people overdose."

Peter Canning, a paramedic and author, called on the sheriff to retract the video in a Tweeted response to Marino. "While (I) appreciate #lawenforcement efforts and know of #fentanyl's danger, this is clearly not a fentanyl #overdose. Sherriff, retract video."

Canning, is the author of the "Killing Season: a paramedic's dispatches from the frontlines of the opioid epidemic," and encouraged readers to understand how these false narratives are a risk to public health. 

The Dangers of Fentanyl - San Diego County Sheriff's Department from San Diego County Sheriff on Vimeo.


Learn more

Learn more

How to buy fentanyl protection products (eBook)

Download this EMS1 fentanyl protection products buying guide to learn key steps for product selection, purchasing and implementation


Recommended for you

Join the discussion

The EMS news & trends you need, delivered right to your inbox.

Thanks! You've been successfully signed up for the EMS1 Daily

Copyright © 2021 EMS1. All rights reserved.