Sheriff moves to protect deputies, public from exposure to dangerous opioids

Deputies throughout the state’s largest sheriff’s office are being issued medications, protective gloves and respirators to protect them from potentially deadly synthetic opioids that are becoming more common on Harris County streets.

The distribution of this equipment is coinciding with training for deputies on how to avoid exposure to the drugs Fentanyl and Carfentanil, which have been linked to multiple deaths throughout the nation.

“We are committed to doing everything within our power to protect the brave law enforcement officers who are fighting to keep our communities safe from these dangerous drugs,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “When Fentanyl and Carfentanil began showing up in Harris County, we knew we had to quickly distribute the antidote and protective gear to our deputies, in case they encounter these drugs in the field. Deputies will also be able to administer the antidote to Harris County residents they enc ounter, who may have been exposed.”

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office purchased 264 doses of the inhalable antidote called Narcan. In addition, deputies are receiving heavy-duty protective gloves that prevent the synthetic opioids from contacting the skin, and respirator masks.

Earlier in July, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office joined with other local law enforcement agencies to announce that officers will no longer conduct “field tests” of suspected drugs because of the dangers of possible exposure to Fentanyl and Carphentanil.

Instead, this testing will now be conducted in a controlled lab environment.

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