OPP report cites 35% increase in opioid overdose deaths

ORILLIA – On June 5 the OPP’s Opioids Working Group released a report highlighting an alarming increase of opioid overdoses and deaths across Ontario.

The report, entitled  Opioids and Overdoses: Impact and Strategies, contains information relating to OPP opioid seizures, overdoses and relevant strategies.

“Out of concern for the safety of all Ontarians, the OPP is sharing the data to help prevent the loss of more lives,” states an OPP press release.

The report states there has been a 35 per cent increase in overdose deaths during the first quarter of 2019 (compared to the first quarter of 2018).

Since September 2017, the OPP has administered naloxone on 79 occasions and saved 73 lives; the highest number of doses were administered in March and April  of this year.

Police say “the spirit” of the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSA) is embedded in “all aspects of OPP’s involvement with the public.”

OPP Superintendent Bryan MacKillop said, “Every life matters; meaning every overdose occurrence will be thoroughly investigated. We owe it to each victim to thoroughly investigate every occurrence so we can target those who produce, import and traffic these harmful and deadly substances.”

The focus of the OPP’s Opioids Working Group during the past year has been responding to the opioid crisis and understanding the impacts of overdoses and opioids.

“New reporting and analytical tools have been made available to position the OPP to be more proactive in our approach to the opioid crisis,” police state.

The OPP report can be found at opp.ca/opioids.