Picture yourself walking along your neighborhood. Just out for a stroll. Suddenly you see a tiny square of green on someone’s front lawn. A dollar bill! What luck! What would you do? Naturally, about 98% of us would pick it up. But apparently western Kansas believes you better think twice! A report of methamphetamine found inside a folded up $1 bill caused the sheriff’s office to issue a public safety announcement. Something that has a local doctor shaking his head.
Given the expense of drugs, particularly illegal ones, it’s not a common practice to simply leave some inside a dollar bill as a trap for some unsuspecting victim to come across. There has been no string of drug-laced dollar bills before this incident or since. But the PSA is sowing panic and misinformation.
According to Dr. Ryan Marino, there’s a significant lack of education surrounding drugs. Exposure to the skin, even for dangerous stuff like fentanyl, cannot lead to an overdose. But this is often what people think when drugs are involved with something. There’s an inherent fear of touching them, lest you OD. Something that’s physically impossible.
It’s Literally Not Something To Worry About
Similar to the panic of finding razor blades in Halloween candy — or the newer one involving children getting edibles in their candy buckets — the lack of information fuels a wholly unnecessary hypervigilance. One that often impedes help to those who are suffering from an overdose. Marino equates this same fear to the HIV crises of the 80s. That even touching someone overdosing could somehow transfer the drug to someone else. Marino bemoans this kind of overreaction to a dollar bill dropped on a lawn when there is a real crisis with addiction to opioids that has still yet to be solved since the Sackler family’s hand in spreading them.