The clip, which was captured on July 3 but shared online earlier this month, appears to show Deputy David Faiivae in a parking lot testing a white substance he believed was fentanyl or cocaine. As Faiivae takes a closer look at the powder, Corporal Scott Crane can be heard warning him to be cautious handling the substance. Moments later, Faiivae takes a step back and collapses on the pavement.
The deputy survived the incident, but now fact checkers are pointing out that it’s “highly unlikely” fentanyl could cause an overdose from this level of exposure.
“You cannot overdose just by touching fentanyl or another opioid and you cannot overdose just by being around it,” Dr Ryan Marino, Medical Director of Toxicology & Addiction at University Hospitals, Cleveland, told Reuters. “It will not get into the air and cause anyone to overdose.”
As seen in the clip, the deputy does not appear to consume the substance and instead is merely in its vicinity.
“You cannot overdose through accidental contact,” added Dr. Marino. “People do overdose accidentally, but it is people who are using drugs and either not expecting fentanyl or carfentanil, or something like that, or people who get an unknown dose because they are buying drugs from the street, so overdose that way.”