New St. Catharines task force to focus on overdose prevention education among young people

CKTB - NEWS - Overdose Prevention

The City of St. Catharines and the Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara will be working together on a new youth-focused opioid task force.

The task force will be working with organizations such as Niagara Health, Positive Living Niagara, Community Addiction Services of Niagara, Pathstone Mental Health, Brock University, Niagara College, and local school boards to help reach young people who are often being targeted through social media and online.

The initiative will get underway this month.

Last year 150 people in Niagara died from confirmed opioid-related overdoses, while this year so far Niagara EMS have responded to at least 509 suspected overdoses.

City officials say first responders are seeing a trend of youth and young people overdosing from street drugs laced with fentanyl.

Yesterday hundreds of purple ribbons were placed on the front lawn of St. Catharines City Hall in honour of the lives lost to overdose.

Some local businesses will continue displaying the ribbons and signs until September 6th to mourn the losses.