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OPP West Region concerned by recent opioid-related deaths

- Street drugs are dangerous -

submitted by OPP

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) wish to remind the public of the potentially-lethal consequences of opioid use. 

Between May 1, 2020 and May 17, 2020, OPP West Region members responded to 12 suspected opioid overdose incidents, including three fatalities. To date in 2020, there have been 52 suspected opioid overdoses, including 13 deaths in West Region.

In 2019, there were 37 confirmed or suspected fatal opioid overdoses in communities served by OPP West Region. In all, OPP West Region members responded to 234 confirmed or suspected overdoses in 2019. 

These overdoses certainly highlight the fact that the misuse and abuse of controlled substances is dangerous and can be deadly. 

Fentanyl - is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever that is similar to morphine and is estimated to be 50 - 100 times stronger. Carfentanil - is a toxic synthetic opioid that is not intended for human consumption. Both of these opioids sometimes get mixed into street drugs which can cause serious health issues, including death, even in small quantities.

As a law enforcement organization, the OPP’s role in this crisis is to investigate opioid-related incidences with an acute focus on the apprehension of those who produce, import and traffic illegal drugs. 

The OPP continues to work with community partners to strategically and collaboratively address the opioid crisis at the local and provincial levels by focusing on prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement. Individuals looking for local supports may contact their health care provider, local Health Unit, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Addiction & Mental Health Ontario, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Health Canada, or Government of Ontario websites.

Please remember the OPP supports Canada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which provides protection from charges for individuals at the scene of a drug overdose for simple drug possession. The OPP believes that every life matters and our officers are committed to responding professionally to all overdoses.

We need the public’s support and assistance to hold drug traffickers accountable for these deaths. You can help by providing the police with information that can lead to arrests and criminal charges. If you have information, please call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or your local police. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or visit 222tips.ca.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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