Police concerned about overdose deaths

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As much of the province focuses its attention on the COVID-19 crisis, provincial police are again sounding the alarm about the opioid crisis.

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, officers in the West Region responded to 12 overdose incidents between May 1 and May 17. In three of those incidents, the overdoses proved to be fatal.

So far this year, there have been 37 confirmed or suspected fatal overdoses in areas served by the West Region OPP.

“These overdoses certainly highlight the fact that the misuse and abuse of controlled substances is dangerous and can be deadly,” police said in a statement released Friday. “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 said it is working with community partners to fight the opioid crisis by focusing on prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement. It added that anyone in need of support can contact their primary health care provider, their local health unit, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Addiction & Mental Health Ontario, or the Canadian Mental Health Association. Support can also be found on the websites of Health Canada and the Government of Ontario.