My understanding is that it is impossible to OD on powdered fentanyl just by touching it/getting it on your skin. In order for the powdered form of the drug to get into your bloodstream, it must come in contact with a mucous membrane or be injected after being melted down. I know there are transdermal fentanyl patches which contain fentanyl suspended in a matrix on the patch to facilitate skin permeation. But the powder itself, not dissolved in solution, cannot absorb into the skin.
To my knowledge, there are no confirmed cases of first responders (or the general public) overdosing due to incidental exposure to fentanyl on the street. Yet there are lots of stories of first responders thinking they are overdosing when they really aren't after a potential exposure. Am I on the right track or completely off base?
The American College of Medical Toxicology released a statement a couple of years ago stating the above… I always figured you could pretty well trust the evidence-based stance of a national medical organization (you know, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, etc), but I could be wrong. My little 2nd year pea brain just likes neat little statements wrapped up in nice little packages lol.
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