Police in Kensington, P.E.I. are hoping to call attention to the dangers of fentanyl and carfentanil — two powerful synthetic opioids that can be lethal in very small doses.
Constable Robb Hartlen posted an image to Facebook, showing how small a lethal dose of the two substances, as well as heroin can be.
The photo police posted was taken by New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Paige Sutherland, based on information provided to her by the New Hampshire state drug lab.
'I thought everyone knew just how potent … this drug is'
Hartlen decided to post the image after a local high school student asked him if fentanyl was as big a problem as has been reported in the media.
"It stunned me because I thought everyone knew just how potent, how powerful and how lethal this drug is," he said.
The post has since been shared more than 5,000 times and received hundreds of comments and interactions.
Some people, Hartlen said, have shared their experiences with people they know who have taken the drug.
'People were asking questions'
"There are a lot of questions, there are some people providing some great answers on the Facebook page, and a lot of discussion," Hartlen said, adding he hopes that discussion continues in people's homes.
"Moms, Dads talking to their kids. A lot of kids talking and tagging each other on the post as well, and it's usually followed by 'I didn't know this,' or 'Yeah, this was what we were talking about the other day, or last month,'" he said.
Fentanyl was responsible for three deaths in P.E.I. between 2015 and 2005.
In the Maritimes, it was responsible for at least 32 drug-involved deaths between 2008 and 2016. In B.C., health officials have declared a public health emergency.
'The more you know, the better prepared you are'
Hartlen hopes his post helps reinforce how dangerous the drug is.
"Education, conversation and dialogue — that's the first step to combat anything," he said.
"The more you know, the better prepared you are. If it helps one person, I've done my job. If it helps 500,000 people, well, I've done my job even better. So, I'll keep the conversation going."
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