OPP Report Shows Dramatic Increase in Overdose Deaths

New information has been released by Ontario Provincial Police that highlights the growing opioid crisis in the province. 

The OPP's "Opioids and Overdoses: Impact and Strategies" report highlights an alarming 35% increase of opioid overdose deaths during the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2018. 

Since September 2017, the OPP has administered naloxone on 79 occasions and saved 73 lives, with the highest number of doses given in March and April of this year. 

The Director of the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, OPP Superintendent Bryan MacKillop says, "Every life matters; meaning every overdose occurrence will be thoroughly investigated. 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 report was released by the OPP Opioids Working Group. It's focus over the past year has been to establish foundational elements to respond to the opioid crisis and understand the impacts of overdoses and opioids. 

According to Public Health Ontario, 28 people in Windsor-Essex died in the first nine months of 2018 from apparent opioid overdoses.

The data also shows 36 opioid-related deaths in 2017. That compares to 37 in 2016 and 24 in 2015.