OPP release report on the impact opioids are having within the province

Naloxone kits, which are used to help interrupt opioid overdoses, are available free of charge in many places in Kingston. Photo by Dr. James Heilman.

A report, released by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), highlights province-wide trends, statistics, and impacts of opiods in OPP policed communities

The 2019 Opioids and Overdoses: Impacts and Strategies report contains information outlining opioid seizures, overdoses and relevant strategies as well as a progress report on previous priorities, according to a release from the OPP, dated Tuesday, Sept 29, 2020.

The OPP have prepared this report in an effort to remain transparent and provide the citizens of Ontario with an accurate depiction of the impacts opioids continue to have within our province. OPP say the 2019 Opioids and Overdoses: Impacts and Strategies reviews statistics from across Canada, the Province of Ontario as well as in OPP specific areas of responsibility.

“There are no excuses in today’s environment for these harmful drugs to be distributed through our communities,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique. “One person is dying every 4.7 hours in Ontario from opioids. We will continue to pursue those who are knowingly trafficking harmful opioids, such as fentanyl, and we will hold them responsible for their actions. We will do this while supporting our social and health services partners in a collective effort to help those impacted by this crisis.”

Key Findings in 2019, as stated in the release:

  •  The OPP has identified a 34 per cent increase in overdose-related deaths in 2019 as compared to overdose-related deaths in 2018;
  • Since September 2017, OPP officers have saved 177 lives by administering naloxone (as of date of this release);
  • In an effort to promote the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA), the OPP conducted a very comprehensive public awareness campaign that spanned the country;
  • Holding drug traffickers, responsible for overdose related deaths, accountable – the OPP laid 102 charges in 12 overdose-related death investigations in 2019, a 500 per cent increase over 2018.  

The focus of the OPP over the past year has been to establish foundational elements and reliable data ensuring a balanced and evidence based approach. New partnerships have been forged in an effort to share information more effectively, positioning the OPP to continue its proactive and layered response to the opioid crisis.

The 2019 Opioids and Overdoses: Impact and Strategies report can be found at opp.ca/opioids.

To learn more about the dangers of fentanyl and short term antidotes, the OPP is encouraging everyone to visit www.facethefentanyl.ca, part of an awareness campaign supported by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).

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