Here’s another reminder that drugs can be deadly. A cop in Tavares, Florida, needed to be hospitalized for an overdose after coming across suspected fentanyl during a traffic stop. Video footage captures her struggle to breathe as other officers try to help her.
A Dollar Bill Roll Contained What Could Be Fentanyl
Officer Courtney Bannick made a traffic stop on Monday night when she found narcotics in a passenger’s possession. A rolled-up dollar bill appeared to contain a substance that Bannick now believes was fentanyl. Although she was wearing gloves and closed it up as soon as she saw the drugs inside, she later had a serious medical emergency.
Because it was windy, the officers at the scene decided to test the substance at a later time. And it may have been the wind that caused Officer Bannick to overdose. Fentanyl shouldn’t cause a reaction if touched with gloves. But touching it with bare hands, or worse, inhaling it, can kill you.
Courtney Sullivan with the Tavares Police Department told WESH that Officer Bannick radioed in to report what happened. But then it sounded like she was choking.
Officer Bannick started going in and out of consciousness. Fellow officers administered her a dose of Narcan, which is a temporary stopgap for opioid overdoses.
“It’s a blocker for 15 to 30 minutes,” said Sullivan. “So, it’s a small window where you wake up and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m fine,’ but you’re not. It’s a small window to get to the hospital and to get the care that you need.” She further explained that when Narcan wears off, a person goes back to overdosing.
Bannick needed two more subsequent doses of Narcan before she arrived at the hospital. Although she’s okay now, the suspected fentanyl overdose nearly killed her. She wants the public to take her story as a reminder of how dangerous fentanyl can be.
“Officer Bannick really wants others to take away that this drug is dangerous,” said Sullivan. “It’s dangerous for not only yourself but others around you. Something as simple as the wind could expose you and just like that, your life could end.”
The incident is still being investigated and it’s likely that the person holding the drugs will face felony charges.