An Alberta peace officer says he is grateful to be alive after he was exposed to the deadly drug fentanyl while on patrol.

Last weekend, Jeremy Hampton was driving along a cabin-lined road in the summer village of Seba Beach, located approximately 85 kilometres west of Edmonton, when he noticed a vial of something on the ground.

“I put on my rubber gloves, picked up the vial, which looked like it had some type of white powdery substance in it,” he recalled to CTV Edmonton.

The peace officer said he brought the vial back to the village office in order to notify authorities. Minutes after he arrived at the office, Hampton said he started having difficulty breathing and his vision blurred. At that point, he said he was sure he’d been poisoned by fentanyl.

Hampton called the RCMP for help and grabbed a naloxone kit.

“Your training does kick in, but there’s still that fear because you don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

The peace officer injected himself with naloxone to reverse the effects of the opioid before paramedics arrived. He was rushed to hospital where he received a second dose of naloxone and was monitored for four hours before he was released.

The Alberta Peace Officers Professional Association (APOPA) said their officers found traces of fentanyl on the dashboard of Hampton’s vehicle and on his ticket books.

Two days later, Hampton was back on the job and warning others about the risks of fentanyl. He hung posters around the village with information about the drugs he discovered in the vial, which included cocaine and MDMA, and what the public should do if they encounter them.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through,” he explained.

As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches and more families are expected to flock to the lakeside village, Hampton said he’s thankful he discovered the vial before anyone else did.

“We have a lot of residents who walk along that portion of the road as well as kids,” he said. “I’m glad I found it because if a kid had picked it up it might have been a different story.”

With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Dan Grummett