In Portage, Pennsylvania, a woman came home from the hospital the day after her son experienced a drug overdose to clean up the drug paraphernalia he had left behind in his bathroom. Soon experiencing a shortness of breath herself, she went to the hospital and died the next day. Though not yet certain, the coroner believes the mother absorbed a drug, possibly fentanyl, accidentally through her skin, not knowing how deadly the drug could be.
Do not clean up drug paraphernalia yourself
There is a ready availability of unregulated drugs on the black market. However, experienced cleaners familiar with drug paraphernalia can never be certain what a drug truly consists of. Fentanyl, for example, looks identical to heroin but is 30 times more potent. If a dealer laces in fentanyl to heroin to make the substance more powerful, it’s going to take a lot less of the drug to overdose and die. Combine this with the fact that fentanyl, and other drugs like it, can be absorbed through the skin and you have people like the mother above overdosing while cleaning up the drug paraphernalia left behind by someone else.
If you come across any drug paraphernalia on your property or in any public area, do not clean it up yourself. Drug paraphernalia you may find may include:
- small mirrors
- razor blades
- tiny spoons
- cut straws
- rolled up dollar bills
- burnt foil squares
- candles, lighters, used matches
- rubber tubing
- pills and powder
Whose responsibility is it to clean up drug paraphernalia?
In addition to not knowing the dangers of the substances you find, you can also be poked by used needles infected with HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. If the drug paraphernalia is in a public area, protect yourself and your loved ones by calling the local authorities. If you find the items on your private property, which is your responsibility to clean up, call a profession biohazard cleaning service to make sure everyone is safe and you are free of all liability. A professional company will have access to quality personal protective gear. They also have sharps containers to discard any needles, industrial cleaning agents so no drug residue is left behind, and the knowledge of what to look for in order to make an area truly clean and safe. Your local authorities can advise you on reputable local companies.