Pills masquerading as Oxycodone but are fentanyl have been discovered frequently in the West Shore this year, according to Cpl. Nancy Sagger, media relations officer, West Shore RCMP.
Often, when the West Shore RCMP has been executing search warrants, they discover that even though they look identical to oxycodone, the pills are far more dangerous as they area fentanyl, said Sagger.
“Fentanyl and oxycodone differ dramatically in their potencies,” she said. “If you are used to taking two or three oxycodone pills a day, and all of a sudden you take one pill, and it has a very, very strong effect.”
Oxycodone is 1.5 times stronger than morphine, while fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent, said Cpl. Sagger. The difference in potency will lead to overdoes.
It is a problem that has been well-known in other jurisdictions.
“It hadn’t quite hit our sort of jurisdiction. Now, it’s here,” said Cpl. Saggar.
She said out of the two drugs, the manufacturing of Oxycodone is hard to come by, but fentanyl is readily available in comparison.
The RCMP has had these pills tested as part of the regular process as they have to provide evidence to the court and have to be able to prove that they have seized what they have.
“They’re being sold as if they’re Oxycodone, but there’s compositionally they’re fentanyl.”