The couple finds the packages that have been tagged with similar names and addresses to their own, Tuesday night, February 12th. They warned the Clay County Sheriff's office, who later confirmed that the powder contained in them was 2.5 grams of fentanyl. Two milligrams of the high-power opioid is a lethal dose for most people, according to DEA.
Therese Gilbertson, who opened one of the envelopes containing two fentanyl packages, said that at first glance her name and address appeared to be on her. It was in the middle of opening a bundle when he noticed something strange: a plastic bag with white powder.
"I did not open the second bag, which is a gift of God, but I really did not have to open the first bag. Gilbertson said.
The package also contained a note: "I love you, call me," says Gilbertson. Her husband, Roy, was worried about what might happen if they were exposed to more than dust. "If we had opened this second package, we would have been polluted and probably died from it," he said. "We were dumb and we were lucky that it was down to that."
Direct skin contact is a potential route of exposure to fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although it is unlikely to result in overdose. Short-term contact with the skin usually does not lead to toxic effects if the substance is removed immediately. However, the CDC warns of inhalation of fentanyl or aerosol powders, or contact with skin or mucous disruption such as the inner lip or inside of your nose may lead to rapid onset of symptoms. Significant exposure to the drug may delay or stop breathing. Therese and Roy Gilbertson say their experience serves as a warning tale for others. They are particularly concerned about the children and the elderly who open a package and touch the powerful medicine that probably leads to exposure. Clay County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the incident as a drug delivery case.
Sheriff Mark Empinger warns against touching an unidentified dust or substance by mail. "It could have been bad ̵
There was a 750 percent increase in packs seized, which contain opiates in the United States last year, according to the US postal service.