If you suspect someone has touched fentanyl, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If possible, remove all clothing that may have been contaminated and place it in a plastic bag. Wash your clothes after they've been removed from the bag if there is any chance that they came into contact with fentanyl or other drugs.
You may notice a chemical or ammonia-like odor when encountering it, but there are hints of vinegar and paint thinner. It's not uncommon for people to describe the smell as similar to nail polish remover or acetone, which makes sense because those substances contain acetic acid (vinegar) and propanal (nail polish remover).
There are several reasons why these scents are so closely associated with fentanyl: they're used in its production; they come from the same family as fentanyl or are present in other drugs like heroin that often contain trace amounts of fentanyl as well.
Fentanyl is a potent opioid that can be absorbed through the skin or mucous membranes if exposed to it in powder form. If you find yourself around fentanyl, take extra care not to touch your face or rub your eyes with your hands--this could lead to an overdose.
Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs like heroin and cocaine. Therefore, you should never use any substance unless you are sure it's safe, as fentanyl can be fatal even in small doses.
Fentanyl is often used to cut other drugs, so it can be difficult for people who don't know what their substances are cut with to tell if they're taking fentanyl. There are many different kinds of fentanyl, and some have different smells:
Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, so always wear gloves when handling fentanyl. The drug can also be absorbed through mucous membranes in the nose and mouth, so if you're around someone who has just snorted or injected fentanyl and they have any residue on their face or hands, it's best to avoid touching those areas until after they wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
If you come into contact with fentanyl from a contaminated surface (e.g., furniture), your best course of action is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water as soon as possible afterward; however, if there are no sinks available nearby, then using hand sanitizer may help reduce exposure risk until more thorough cleaning takes place later on (though this method isn't foolproof).
This is why it's essential to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after handling fentanyl products or coming in contact with someone who has handled them.
Inhalation and ingestion are the most common routes of exposure, but transdermal absorption (through the skin), injection, and inhalation of vapors also have been reported.
Inhalation: Inhaling fentanyl vapors or smoke can result in the rapid onset of respiratory depression, sedation, and coma. If you suspect someone has been exposed to fentanyl this way, call 911 immediately!
Ingestion: Fentanyl is tasteless when swallowed, so it's difficult for people who take their medication orally to know if there's something wrong with their dose or if it has been tampered with by someone else without their knowledge.
Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose until thoroughly cleaned. If possible, avoid eating or drinking anything connected by someone who may have touched fentanyl.
If you think someone is overdosing on fentanyl and is not breathing normally (they may look like they're sleeping), call 911 immediately.
Fentanyl is a hazardous drug that can be absorbed into your body by touching it or breathing in its fumes. If you think someone has been exposed to fentanyl, getting them medical attention immediately is essential.