Couples discovered the packages, marked by the same name and address on their own, Tuesday night, Feb. 12. They alerted the Office of Clay County Sheriff, which in reference to the powder contained within them is 2.5 grams of fentanyl. Two milligrams of very powerful opioid are a deadly dose for most people, according to the DEA.
Teresa Gilbertson, who opened one of the envelopes containing two packages of fentanyl, said that at first glance his name and address appeared. He was in the middle of opening a package when he noticed something strange: a plastic bag containing white powder.
"I did not open the second bag, which was a godsend, but I should not have to open the first bag," Gilbertson said.
The note reading package also contains: "I love you, call me," said Gilbertson.
His wife, Roy, is concerned about what might have happened if they were exposed to more powders. "If we open this second package, we are likely to be contaminated and possibly die from it," he said. "We're dumb and we're lucky, that's what's going down."
Direct contact with the skin is a potential exposure route for fentanyl, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although it is unlikely to result in overdose. Short skin contact does not generally lead to toxic effects if the substance is removed immediately. However, CDCs warn of inhalation of fentanyl powders or aerosols, or contacting a break in the skin or in a mucous membrane such as internal lip or inside your nose, may lead to rapid start of symptoms . Significant exposure to medication may slow down or stop breathing.
Teresa and Roy Gilbertson said that their experience serves as a warning for others. They are especially concerned about children and adults who open a package and handle powerful drugs, possibly leading to exposure.
The Office of Clay County Sheriff is now investigating the incident as a drug delivery case.
The Sheriff Mark Empting warns against handling any unidentified powders or substances in the mail. "It can be bad ̵
There has been a 750 percent increase in packages taken containing opioids in the United States over the years, according to the United States Postal Service.