Police beat: OPP concerned about opioid overdoses, deaths

WELLINGTON COUNTY – OPP officials are again reminding  the public of the “potentially-lethal consequences of opioid use.”

In 2019, OPP West Region officers responded to 234 confirmed or suspected overdoses, 37 of them fatal.

As of May of this year, the OPP has responded to 52 suspected opioid overdoses, including 13 deaths in West Region.

Fentanyl  is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever that is similar to morphine and is estimated to be 50 to 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,” police say.

“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.”

OPP officials say police will continue 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 and Mental Health Ontario, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Health Canada or Government of Ontario websites.

Police are also reminding the public the OPP supports Canada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which provides protection from charges for simple drug possession for individuals at the scene of a drug overdose.

Anyone with information about opioid drug dealers can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip at www.csgw.tips.

Teens charged

PERTH EAST – Two Mapleton teens were among three charged last week after a traffic stop here at about 8:30pm on July 5 on Perth Road 121.

A 16-year-old Mapleton resident was charged with speeding, being a G1 driver and not accompanied by qualified driver, driving a vehicle with liquor readily available and having care or control of a vehicle or boat with cannabis readily available.

A 17-year-old passenger from Perth East was charged with underage drinking.

An 18-year-old passenger from Mapleton was charged with possessing cannabis while underage and underage drinking.