The OPP has released a report on opioid deaths and overdoses for 2019 and it contains some eye-popping stats.
The Province saw a 34 per cent increase in overdose-related deaths in 2019 as compared to 2018, and since September 2017, to date, OPP officers have saved 177 lives by administering naloxone
Those startling facts come from a report titled 2019 Opioids and Overdoses: Impacts and Strategies report, highlighting statistics, trends and impacts in relation to opioids in OPP policed communities. The report contains information outlining opioid seizures, overdoses, and relevant strategies as well as a progress report on previous priorities.
You can see the full report here.
The OPP says it prepared this report "in an effort to remain transparent and provide the citizens of Ontario with an accurate depiction of the impacts opioids continue to have within our province."
Police have enforced a policy of holding drug traffickers, responsible for overdose-related deaths. The OPP laid 102 charges in 12 overdose-related death investigations in 2019, a 500 per cent increase over 2018.
"The focus of the OPP over the past year has been to establish foundational elements and reliable data ensuring a balanced and evidence based approach," says Superintendent Bryan MacKillop. "New partnerships have been forged in an effort to share information more effectively, positioning the OPP to continue its proactive and layered response to the opioid crisis."
"There are no excuses in today's environment for these harmful drugs to be distributed through our communities," OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique. "One person is dying every 4.7 hours in Ontario from opioids. We will continue to pursue those who are knowingly trafficking harmful opioids, such as fentanyl, and we will hold them responsible for their actions."
To find out more about the dangers of fentanyl and short term antidotes, visit www.facethefentanyl.ca, part of an awareness campaign supported by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).
The 2019 Opioids and Overdoses: Impact and Strategies report can be found at opp.ca/opioids.