Deadly Fentanyl: 18 Cops Survive Exposure During Raid But 12-Year-Old At Birthday Sleepover Not So Lucky

Deadly Fentanyl: 18 Cops Survive Exposure During Raid But 12-Year-Old At Birthday Sleepover Not So Lucky

The headline above is about two separate events – a SWAT raid on a drug house and a kids’ birthday sleepover – not a single event. But it easily could have been. It illustrates how we’re seeing news reports almost every day of the week about injuries and deaths from accidental and intentional exposure to the powerful and dangerous opioid called fentanyl. And it adds to the mounting narrative about the freakish danger of this man-made drug in all its constantly changing varieties.

Exposure can be deadly

Fentanyl can get into your system by injection (dealers mix it with low-grade heroin), by breathing it in if the powder is accidentally “poofed” into the air, or even through the skin just by touching it. Both these events happened in Ohio – a police raid on a drug den in Pittsburgh and the mysterious death of a child in Columbus. After breaking into the drug house, 18 Pittsburgh cops were sickened when a table covered in fentanyl overturned. The dealers had been mixing it into heroin. The officers — all members of the SWAT team — were taken to a hospital to be evaluated after experiencing dizziness and numbness. Luckily, all the cops survived, and were returned to duty with no lasting ill effects. Over in Columbus, medics responded to calls after 12-year-old Kanye Champelle was found still alive but unconscious and unresponsive during a birthday sleepover at his cousin's birthday party. At first they thought Kanye had choked on a wad of chewing gum. They found it lodged in his throat. They removed it and transported the youngster to the hospital.

It wasn’t the gum

Kanye never woke up. He died two days later. The Franklin County coroner says that choking was a factor, but not the primary cause of death. The coroner discovered that Kanye died from an “accidental overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl and acetylfentanyl.” The coroner found no sign of an injection. In fact the autopsy was unable to specify how Kanye contacted the drug – ingesting, smoking, inhaling it as dust, getting it on his skin – no one knows. But everyone involved wants to know – where it came from and what Kanye was doing with it, if anything at all. Especially Latice Champelle, Kanye’s mom. In a televised interview with NBC4, she was understandably grief-stricken and angry. “I don’t understand how he got hold of that stuff,” she choked out through bitter tears. “Like, where did he get that, where was it at? Why would someone have it around my son?” So far, no one has solved the mystery of how a 12-year-old boy was fatally exposed to fentanyl. Obviously, there was fentanyl somewhere in that apartment. It seems unlikely Kanye brought it himself, but police aren’t ruling out anything. They’re still investigating – the narcotics bureau and even the homicide bureau. “That’s the big question we want to know,” said Columbus PD spokesman Sgt. Dean Worth. “How did he get hold of this stuff?”

The worst drug ever?

Street fentanyl is manmade in clandestine labs, mostly in China. Heroin is derived from the opium poppy, and much of that originates in Afghanistan. Fentanyl is 10, 20 or even 30 times stronger than heroin. And it’s probably 100 times stronger than morphine. Mixed into heroin and other drugs, it is now claiming more lives than heroin or any other drug on the street. Fentanyl is easily altered chemically by the illegal labs to create new versions, something they do regularly to stay one jump ahead of the government’s frequent classifications making a new version illegal. And because fentanyl in almost all its many versions is so incredibly potent, so easily mixed with other drugs, and so difficult for pushers to handle and measure it safely, it just may be the absolute worst drug to ever reach the streets of this country, and every other country on earth. Here at Novus, we’re ready to help you or someone you care for get a handle on drug or alcohol problems, and get started on the road to recovery.

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