An alarming increase of opioid overdoses and deaths across Ontario was highlighted in the Opioids and Overdoses: Impact and Strategies report released by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on Wednesday, Jun. 5, 2019.
The report contains information relating to OPP opioid seizures, overdoses, and relevant strategies. The OPP stated that they shared the data “out of concern for the safety of all Ontarians” in an effort to “help prevent the loss of more lives.”
According to the report, there was a 35 per cent increase in overdose deaths during the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018. The report also states that the OPP has administered naloxone on 79 occasions, saving 73 lives. It was also reported that the highest number of naloxone doses were administered in March and April 2019.
“Every life matters; meaning every overdose occurrence will be thoroughly investigated,” said OPP Superintendent Bryan MacKillop, Director of the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. “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 OPP stated that the focus of the Opioids Working Group during the past year has been to establish foundational elements to respond to the opioid crisis and understand the impacts of overdoses and opioids. The OPP credited the availability of new reporting and analytical tools with allowing them to develop a more proactive approach to the opioid crisis.
The Opioids and Overdoses: Impact and Strategies report can be found at opp.ca/opioids