VERIFY: Will fentanyl exposure make you sick?

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If you get a little fentanyl on your skin, will you die? Not quite.

In the classic movie Scarface, you might remember the scene where Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) plants his face in a huge mountain of cocaine – and we all know how that ends.

Obviously, that much fentanyl would do some serious damage, but that’s not the picture being portrayed.

"A very small amount ingested or absorbed through your skin can kill you,” that’s coming from Jack Riley from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

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That’s not the whole truth, though.

Dr. Joan Papp from MetroHealth said it doesn’t quite work like that. She said theoretically, you can be affected by exposure but overdosing or having a near-death experience stretches things a bit.

Recently, even here in Ohio, police officers have been taken to the hospital for possible exposure to the dangerous drug, but small amounts touching just your skin isn’t enough to take you out.

So can fentanyl exposure make you sick?

Theoretically, yes, if it’s inhaled or ingested.

VERIFY: Sources

  • Dr. Joan Papp, MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Jack Riley, Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Dr. Chris Hoyte, University of Colorado