Fentanyl began as a public health emergency on the West Coast and has since spread across Canada with hundreds of deaths from the synthetic opioid this year alone.
The Kensington Police Service in PEI have hosted a Facebook Live presentation with front-line emergency responders bringing more awareness to what has become a dangerous and lethal street drug.
PEI advanced care paramedic Ryan O'Meara says fentanyl started out as a pain reliever before it made its way to the streets.
"Fentanyl is much more potent than morphine... to the tune of about 100 times more potent than morphine. So what they did chemically, they were able to synthesize a drug that with much smaller amounts gave a much larger effect," he says.
O'Meara says carfentanil is a related drug which was developed for veterinarians to treat large animals for pain.
As a result, carfentanil is about 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and has become an even more deadly street drug.
(PHOTO - a pill containing fentanyl - courtesy NB RCMP)