Public health: 31 suspected drug-related deaths in region this year

Tenenbaum warns of 'devastating effects' of drug poisonings

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local public health officials say 31 people have died in suspected drug-related deaths this year.

That alarming statistic was included in a Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) statement issued on Aug. 31 – International Overdose Awareness Day, also now known as International Drug Poisoning Awareness Day.

The statement, from associate medical officer of health Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, warns area residents about the “devastating effects” of drug poisonings in the region.

“Despite the progress made by individuals and organizations, these poisonings continue to claim members of our community; this issue hasn’t gone away,” stated Tenenbaum.


“There is still work to do to combat the damage to individual lives and our community as a whole.”

Noting each death “is a tragedy,” Tenenbaum stressed drug poisoning is “a complex issue that defies simple solutions.

“People who are impacted come from different walks of life and each have their own stories to tell. We need to listen to these stories, and thoughtfully consider what they tell us about how we can have the greatest impact.”

Tenenbaum said people need to be mindful that their actions, or lack thereof, “have real consequences on the lives” of others.

“We must always work with empathy, supporting people’s dignity. A healthy community is one that never loses sight of the value of all lives,” he stated.

He also thanked the individuals and organizations working to end drug poisonings.

“We are lucky to continue to work with the many people that are committed to addressing this emergency,” he concluded.