Police who deal with it wear special, fully enclosed suits for scenes involving fentanyl.
© Guardian photo by Ryan Ross
A box holds five patches of the painkiller fentanyl that can be legally acquired with a prescription.
So much so that drug enforcement teams that deal with it wear special, fully enclosed suits for scenes involving fentanyl.
RCMP Cpl. Andy Cook said that’s because fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin and people can breathe in its dust.
“It’s very dangerous,” he said.
Fentanyl is a depressant that makes everything in the body slow down and in worst cases can make a person stop breathing.
As a precautionary measure, the RCMP in P.E.I. have their first batch of naloxone nasal spray, which can be administered to an officer or a member of the public if they’re exposed to fentanyl.
“It’s like an adrenaline. It will bring you back at least enough to get back to the hospital,” Cook said.
Those kits will go to some units first and eventually to all officers.
Health Minister Robert Henderson said fentanyl is a concern and the provincial government is watching what’s happening in other parts of the country.
He also said the province has made sure all ambulances in P.E.I. have naloxone onboard.
“At least we can try and save as many lives as we possibly can,” he said.