BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont police are developing ways to cope with the dangers posed by the synthetic opioid pain medication fentanyl, which is becoming more prevalent in the state's illegal drug markets.

Vermont State Police Capt. John Merrigan says investigators are seeing more heroin laced with fentanyl or pure fentanyl being sold as heroin since it is cheaper and gives addicts a greater high.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration says accidental contact with fentanyl that is the equivalent to five or six grains of table salt can be deadly if inhaled or absorbed through skin abrasions.

The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/2sGWl0P ) reports that the threat has prompted some police agencies to change the way officers handle some suspected drugs.

Colchester police prohibit offers from handling some suspected drugs without gloves and eye protection.


Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com