POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 63 Originally published on Sept. 15, 2016 by Angela MacIvor, CBC News Staff Sgt. Darin Sheppard with the federal and serious crime unit in B.C. recently came to Nova Scotia to train officers. Sheppard spoke with CBC News about the growing fentanyl crisis: Where is fentanyl coming from? "Primarily it's coming in from Asia. It's generally coming in through the mail system or through couriers and it's being ordered off the Internet." Does it come in different forms? "The most common form that we're seeing is either the counterfeit OxyContin tablets or it's buffed out, so adulterants are added and it's made to resemble heroin." Why would drug dealers sell this if it's killing people? "It's cheaper than heroin for them to purchase, so there's greater profit margin for them. It's easier to smuggle into the country because of the toxicity of it and the small amount needed to create a large number of doses. " "And there's an old saying in the drug dealer community that a few overdoses isn't necessarily a bad thing because it will indicate to people that your product is very strong and potent and the quality is there." Do you support the move to declare it a public health crisis in B.C.? "I do. I think that more information is always helpful in generating a strategy that will help us protect the public. That is police's primary role: to protect the public. I think the days of looking at drug addiction as strictly a criminal matter are gone. "There's a real effort on the part of the RCMP to work with our partners in public health to look out for people who are in a vulnerable situation, and most addicts do find themselves in a vulnerable place and anything we can do to look out for their safety is a benefit." How dangerous is this drug? "It's extremely dangerous. Fentanyl has a very high toxicity. Two milligrams, so roughly the size of two grains of salt, is a lethal dose. So it's very difficult for persons to manage and mix it and cut it down to levels that are allowed for human consumption without being a fatal dose." What is your message to Maritimers? "Be aware of it. Educate yourself. There is a lot of information out there about it. Recognize that it only takes one dose to kill you. "There is no such thing as, 'Oh, I'm going to try it once and hopefully I will be OK,' because personally we're aware of individuals in B.C. who had never tried any sort of drug before and took that one counterfeit OxyContin thinking that it was safe, and it wasn't. It killed them." What can you do to combat this drug when it's coming mostly fromAsia? "We work extensively with our partners and CBSA [Canada Border Services Agency] and Canada Post to try to stem the tide coming into the country.And I think the other method of combating it is simply by generating public awareness and generating a discussion about fentanyl and the risks associated with it." WHATYOU NEEDTO KNOW ABOUT FENTANYL,WHICH CAN KILLYOU IN ONE DOSE Lethal dose of heroin and fentanyl