VIDEO: Naloxone Conversation Front and Centre Again

The recent death of a Windsor teen has the community once again, talking about naloxone.

A funeral service was held Monday for Josh Chouinard — the 17-year-old who died from an apparent drug overdose on May 27th.

Since Chouinard's death, the Brandon Bailey and the Windsor Overdose Prevention Society have opened unsactioned, safe injection sites, in undisclosed locations.

Bailey says he was also asked by the Chouinard family to attend the funeral and hold a naloxone training session. 

Windsor police chief Al Frederick remains firm that he does not want police officers to carry naloxone kits. 

Something newly appointed police services board member, Rino Bortolin wanted to hear more about.

"It's a tool in the toolbox," he says. "I did want to hear the chief's rationale and I think he laid it out very clearly. So I think all his points are valid, I think there are going to be some times where I might disagree from a personal perspective. But I understand where he's coming from and what the rationale for those decisions are."

Bortolin doesn't know that naloxone will be the answer and believes response to the opioid crisis needs to continue to evolve.

"How we're dealing with it today won't be how we're dealing with it six months from now.  And probably won't be how we're dealing with it a year from now, so do I think it will be different a year from now, yes.  But that I think is just a matter of how we're morphing and adapting to the problems."

Bortolin is also calling on the provincial government to be more involved and to sound the alarm bells every time someone overdoses and use it to put pressure on the police chief to have officers carry naloxone, isn't fare. "We really have to understand there's a lot going on on the streets and there are a lot of things that need help," he says. "And if we're going to be putting pressure, it should be pressure on the provincial government to start having dollars flow through to actually deal with it as a crisis."

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

Over 10,000 Canadians died of apparent opioid-related overdoses between January 2016 and September 2018.