The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) wish to remind the public of the potentially-lethal consequences of opioid use.
OPP West Region officials say between May 1, 2020 and May 17, 2020, OPP West Region members 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,” OPP officials said in a media release.
“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.”
OPP officials added: “These overdoses certainly highlight the fact that the misuse and abuse of controlled substances is dangerous and can be deadly.”
OPP officials say 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, OPP officials added.
“Both of these opioids sometimes get mixed into street drugs which can cause serious health issues including death, even in small quantities,” OPP officials 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.”
The OPP continues 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, officials say.
“Individuals looking for local supports may contact their health care provider, local Health Unit, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Addiction & Mental Health Ontario, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Health Canada or Government of Ontario websites,” OPP official say.
“Please remember the OPP supports Canada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, which provides protection from charges for individuals at the scene of a drug overdose for simple drug possession. The OPP believes that every life matters and our officers are committed to responding professionally to all overdoses.”
OPP officials added: “We need the public’s support and assistance to hold drug traffickers accountable for these deaths. You can help by providing the police with information that can lead to arrests and criminal charges.”
If you have information, please call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or your local police. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or visit 222tips.ca.