East Liverpool police officer recounts near fatal exposure to po - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

East Liverpool police officer recounts near fatal exposure to powerful drug

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Chris Green Chris Green

An East Liverpool Police officer's brush with a potentially deadly drug won't sway him from continuing to perform his duty.

Officer Chris Green was back on the job Tuesday, speaking with 21 News just days after he was accidentally exposed to an opiate many times more powerful than heroin.

It was last week when Green was on the scene of a drug arrest where the two suspects allegedly tore open bags of drugs, allegedly in an attempt to destroy evidence.

The powdered narcotics had spread throughout the suspect's car, and apparently on officer Green as well.

After the arrests, Green and fellow officer Rob Smith were finishing paperwork Friday evening at the police station when another officer noticed something on Green's shirt.

"I instinctively reached around to pull the tail of my shirt to the front, by then it was already too late,” said Green. “I had placed my thumb, and index finders in it and tried to brush it off. I don't know if it went through my skin or if it became airborne when I wiped it off, or a combination of both.”

After a couple of minutes went by, Green told officer Smith he didn't feel right, and that something was wrong. “I just started mumbling. The last thing I think I remember is falling backwards into the door," Green recounted.

Medics who were at the police station administered the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan to Green.

Four doses of Narcan later, the next thing Green recalls is waking up in the hospital..

"I felt a presence over my right shoulder and I saw my fiancee crying hysterically, and I felt so bad. It was heartbreaking,” said Green.

After noticing that his police chief, EMT's, firefighters and fellow officers were also in the hospital, Green knew something bad had happened.

“Never in a million years did I think I would be in the hospital for something that serious, for overdosing, said Green. “You sign up for a job, you know is dangerous, your thinking of guns, robbers, and knives. You're not thinking that a particle of dust or drug killing you."

Green says he is grateful he never made it home since he could have exposed his dogs, fiancee, and family to the deadly substance.

His close call provides a cautionary tale for officers and other first responders on the front lines of the battle against the opiate epidemic and powerful drugs such as Fentanyl and Carfentanil.

When asked how he could go back to the job Green said, "I grew up wrestling, football, MMA boxing my whole life I've always had that competitive drive. I am not letting drug dealers win, you may have almost killed me, but your not going to win, you're not going  to come to this city and bring that poison."

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