LONDON – OPP officials wish to remind the public of the potentially-lethal consequences of opioid use.
Between May 1 and 17, OPP West Region officers 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,” police stated in a May 22 press release.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Carfentanil is a toxic synthetic opioid that is not intended for human consumption.
Both sometimes get mixed into street drugs, which can cause serious health issues including death, even in small quantities.
“The OPP continues to work with community partners to strategically and corroboratively address the opioid crisis at the local and provincial levels by focusing on prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement,” states the press release.
“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.”
Officials are also reminding the public the OPP supports Canada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which provides protection from drug possession charges for individuals at the scene of a drug overdose.
“The OPP believes that every life matters and our officers are committed to responding professionally to all overdoses,” states the release.
Man arrested with stolen crossbow
MOUNT FOREST – On May 19, the Wellington County OPP arrested and charged an individual involved in a break-in on April 11 in Southgate Township.
Police say they were informed the suspect was attempting to sell the stolen property, including a cross-bow, in the Town of Mount Forest.
Gordon William Kostal, 38, of Wellington North, was charged with two counts of possession of property obtained by crime (under $5,000), as well as trafficking stolen goods (under $5,000), failure to comply with a release order and failure to comply with a probation order.
He was held for a bail hearing. Police say they have recovered some stolen property, but some items, including firearms, remain outstanding.
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Anyone with information about the above incidents 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. Tip providers may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.