Illicit Drug Tool-Kit for First Responders

The resources below provide key points from the NIOSH recommendations for how First Responders can protect themselves from exposure to illicit drugs, including Fentanyl.

Video

These videos will help emergency responders understand the risks and communicate what they can do to protect themselves from exposure to illicit drugs. They are best viewed sequentially.

Video 1

Shows actual body cam footage that shows what happens when an officer is exposed to illicit drugs like fentanyl and provides recommendations on how other officers and responders can prevent it from happening to them.

Total running time: 13:06

Video 2

Emphasizes how to properly don and doff personal protective equipment (PPE).

Total running time: 12:07

Infographics
Reducing Illicit drug exposure: Safety Measures for First Responders. When you suspect illicit drugs are present: Do wear your personal protective equipment. Do was your hands with soap and water. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do not use hand sanitizer, eat, drink, smoke, or use the bathroom. *Illicit drug products include but are not limited to opioids, cocaine, cannabinoids, methamphetamines, heroin, cathinones, etc.
When you suspect illicit drugs are present

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Reducing Illicit Drug Exposure: Safety Measures for First Responders. Exposure can happen, protect yourself. Do not touch or disturb white powder or liquid. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or use the bathroom while working in the area. Do not use hand sanitizer. It does not remove illicit drugs and may increase exposure. Do wear proper PPE to prevent exposure. Do have emergency services on standby. Do call HAZMAT or DEA if large amounts of suspected illicit drug products are visible. Do allow only properly trained personnel in the appropriate PPE to perform field testing. *Illicit drug products include but are not limited to opioids, cocaine, cannabinoids, methamphetamines, heroin, cathinones, etc.
Exposure can happen, protect yourself

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Reducing Illicit Drug Exposure: Safety Measures for First Responders. Selecting your personal protective equipment (PPE). Take protective measures when illicit drugs are present. Minimal Exposure: No amount of suspected illicit drug products are visible - Nitrile Gloves. Moderate Exposure: Small amounts of suspected illicit drug products are visible - Nitrile gloves + Safety goggles/glasses + Wrist/Arm protection + Disposable N, P, or R-100 filtering facepieve respirator or reusable elastomeric N, P, or R-100 respirator. High Exposure: Large amounts of suspected drug products are visible - Entry not recommended: Refer scene to special operations response workers, such as local Hazmat team. *Illicit drug products include but are not limited to opioids, cocaine, cannabinoids, methamphetamines, heroin, cathinones, etc.
Personal Protective Equipment

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Reducing Illicit Drug Exposure: Safety Measures for First Responders. Don't take it home. After leaving a scene where illicit drugs were present: 1. If wearing respiratory protection, remove respirator. 2. Remove gloves. 3. Use soap and water to wash and rinse skin. Do not use hand sanitizer. 4. Remove contaminated clothes and shower immediately. 5. Launder all contaminated clothing. NEVER take contaminated clothes home. 6. Decontaminate or dispose of personal protective equipment per your department policy. *Illicit drug products include but are not limited to opioids, cocaine, cannabinoids, methamphetamines, heroin, cathinones, etc.
Decontamination

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Which File Type to Use
  • PNGs –  ideal if file size is not a concern. Can be used for sharing via social media, inserting into presentations or documents, attaching or embedding into email, and for use on the web.
  • JPGs – ideal if file size is a concern. Can be used for sharing via social media, inserting into presentations or documents, attaching or embedding into email, and for use on the web.
  • SVGs – ideal for websites or online blogs when supported.
  • PDFs – ideal for printing or sharing via email, and for use with a screen reader for visually impaired individuals.
Page last reviewed: April 5, 2019