This is why people are afraid you can absorb drugs through shopping cart handles

We’re already fully aware that shopping cart handles aren’t the cleanest surfaces on Earth. However, the internet became panicked after reading a Facebook post that said you can absorb the drug fentanyl through your hands after touching shopping cart handles. What the what?

On November 9th, the Leachville Police Department, located in Leachville, Arkansas, shared a warning on their Facebook page about the danger of touching shopping cart handles that may be coated with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a highly addictive opioid pain medication that can cause respiratory distress or death when taken in large doses. The drug can also be absorbed into the body by contact. As a result, Leachville Police advised citizens to wipe down their shopping cart handles with disinfectant before using. This, of course, caused massive concern among their followers.

The post has since been removed from the Leachville Police Department Facebook page. But local Arkansas news station, ABC13, reports the message as follows:

"The police chief suggests you do it also because of all the problems with drugs nowadays and if they have Fentanyl or something like that still on their hands and they touch that cart handle and then you do, it can get into your system."

Awesome. That’s just great news.

But before you fully commit to wearing plastic gloves for the rest of your life, the fact-checking website Snopes declared this “fact” to be untrue. About this matter, the Snopes article reads,

"The ability for an overdose to occur through incidental skin contact is extremely unlikely. While it’s true that fentanyl can legally be prescribed in the United States in the form of a transdermal patch, which regulates a controlled release of the drug into the system via the skin, such a system is specifically engineered to penetrate the top layer of the skin."

Experts also “doubt the reality,” Snopes states, that the more lethal black-market version of fentanyl would cause an overdose from skin-to-drug contact. The bottom line is that we really don’t have to worry about overdosing while grocery shopping.

The Leachville Police Department has since apologized for their panic-inducing post.

As if grocery runs aren’t stressful enough, right? We’ll take stranger germs over drugs on our shopping cart handle any day, thank you.

Filed Under