A batch of heroin discovered in Bellaire during a routine traffic stop has been analyzed and found to contain carfentanyl.
The synthetic opioid is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
Sheriff Dave Lucas says first responders dealing with an overdose patient can accidentally absorb it through the skin or inhale it, and go into an overdose themselves.
The sheriff says he has notified 9-1-1, all police and fire departments and all emergency medical response teams.
He says a single particle can cause an overdose.
“We already put a kit together for all of our officers who work on the road or come into contact with drug users,” said Sheriff Lucas. “So already 40 kits have been issued to my officers in the field for their protection against this powder substance.”
The kits contain an ambu bag for resuscitation breathing, safety glasses, a tie-back suit, gloves and a mask.
The suspect who was found with the heroin is facing criminal charges.
The sheriff urges all first responders to use extreme caution when interacting with drug users.