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Steady increase in opioid-related overdoses, deaths locally: WRPS

In Waterloo Region, the first quarter of 2019 saw twice as many overdoses compared to the first quarter of 2018
Erin Anderson/KitchenerToday

Police continue to see a steady increase in opioid-related overdoses and deaths, both locally and provincially.

Waterloo Regional Police provided an update on overdose information at its board meeting on Wednesday. 

Staff Sgt. Breanna Bonn of the Drugs and Firearms Unit said there were twice as many reported overdoses in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same time last year. 

Naloxone-use by local officers is also on the rise, with police administering the anti-overdosing drug 20 times in the first quarter of 2019. For comparison, WRPS officers administered Naloxone 35 times throughout the whole year in 2018. 

From January to May 1 of this year, there have been 28 suspected overdose related deaths. There were a total of 53 in 2018.

Police say most local overdoses occur in private residences and shelters, with the highest rates affecting men between the ages of 24 and 33.

At Wednesday's WRPS board meeting, Chief Bryan Larkin also noted that police support planning efforts for a proposed consumption and treatment services site on Duke Street in Kitchener. 

A team of local officers will also be heading to a Calgary CTS to see how police there operate, and the WRPS is ensuring the community that any public safety concerns regarding a local CTS will be addressed.

You can learn more about our local Overdose Monitoring Report by clicking here


Erin Anderson

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