Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had no doubt they’d be saving lives when frontline officers started carrying Naloxone three years ago.
Numbers released this week show OPP officers have prevented 210 opioid-related deaths since September 2017. Overdose occurrences rose 38 per cent in the last year.
“People from every age group and every socioeconomic background continue to be affected by opioids in Ontario. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act can protect you – if you see an overdose, please call 9-1-1. You can help save a life, too.”Commissioner Thomas Carrique, Ontario Provincial Police
Key statistical information on opioid-related overdoses and naloxone administration from September 2017 to February 3, 2021, includes:
• The majority, 68 per cent, of naloxone recipients were male and 32 per cent were female.
• The average age of naloxone recipients was 34.8 for females and 35.5 for males.
• Most incidences occurred inside a residence.
• The majority of opioid-related overdoses occurred in OPP’s Central and West Regions.
• There was a 38 per cent increase in overdose occurrences attended by the OPP from 2019 to 2020.
The OPP continues to provide victims with referrals to community-specific resources and advising the public about harmful substances.
A framework has been created to support individuals suffering from substance use disorder, while holding drug traffickers who cause these overdoses accountable. Since 2016, the OPP has investigated 23 occurrences where charges have been laid for Manslaughter and/or Criminal Negligence Causing Death in relation to fatal overdoses.