ST. LOUIS - Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin. But there is a lot of misinformation out there about the drug. One rumor going around social media right now is that you can overdose by simply touching a shopping cart.
The message says you should always wipe down your cart before you go shopping because, if you don't, you could overdose on fentanyl. The idea is that someone who uses fentanyl may have previously touched the cart and is transferring the drug.
Drug task force leaders said the chances of that happening are incredibly slim. In fact, Lt. Scott Reed from the Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Unit says if someone had enough fentanyl in their system to the point where it would transfer from their skin, they would probably be unconscious or dead. Reed says they would probably be too high to get out of their car, grab a cart, and go shopping.
Chad Sabora from the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform & Recovery says sharing the misinformation could do a lot of harm.
"This is more dangerous than people realize when we're making up these lies," Sabora said. "We're portraying opiate users like plague-like individuals ... The more we do this, the more we villainize the opiate user and the less likely people are going to be willing to help them."
The experts weighed in and now you know. Picking up a dangerous dose of fentanyl from a shopping cart is false.
Lt. Scott Reed, Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Unit
Chad Sabora, Missouri Network for Opiate Reform & Recovery