By: Ryan Marino, MD
Butler County, OHIO – Local police officer Kevin Martin was not on duty two nights ago when he made the biggest bust in county history.
“My wife sent me to the grocery store to buy laundry detergent; she’s usually in charge of buying that and doing the laundry, but I want to help out more now that I’m out of the academy,” said Martin. Little did he know he was about to help millions more people.
“I walk into this aisle and start checking things out, when I realize that there are hundreds of pounds of white powder sitting here, hidden in plain sight. Now, I had just finished up learning about how we are in the middle of an Opioid Epidemic secondary to fentanyl powder being sold to our citizens. Fentanyl powder is white powder. I watch the news, what else could it be?”
Officer Martin immediately developed classic symptoms of opioid exposure including deep and fast breathing, fear, heightened sense of awareness, and an obsessive need to cause others to panic. He was able to drive himself to a nearby pharmacy and self-administer the antidote, naloxone, saving his life. “I’m glad a pharmacy was nearby because our police chief doesn’t believe in Narcan and we don’t carry it or keep it at the station.”
He then notified his station, who spent the next several hours putting on elaborate HazMat suits to prepare for the bust. When they arrived, they confiscated over one thousand pounds of white powder from the detergent aisle. “That is enough fentanyl to kill everyone in the state three times over, and still finish laundry for a family of four. I’m just glad we used our money on these HazMat suits instead of carrying Narcan.”
Store owners denied that they were carrying the deadly drug, however, another officer, James Patrick, confirmed that it was fentanyl through sniff testing at the scene. While they have yet to be charged, it is unlikely that a trial is even necessary based on this testing. “I’ve already given 12 news interviews,” Officer Patrick said. “I just want to make sure that the truth gets out before they have a chance to introduce contradictory toxicologic testing, which seems to happen all too often. Thankfully, that takes several news cycles worth of time to complete.”
“One thing I learned from this, I think we’ll stick to liquid detergent from now on,” Officer Martin remarked.