OPP officers save more than 200 lives by administering naloxone

Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board paramedics have begun to deliver naloxone kits to those at-risk members of the Manitoulin community. Naloxone kits come in two forms: intramuscular injection, as seen above, or nasal spray. In the time of pandemic, intramuscular injection is seen as the least intrusive method. Shutterstock

Overdose occurrences increase 38 percent in the province

ORILLIA – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has saved 210 lives by administering naloxone since front-line officers were first equipped with the opioid antagonist in September 2017. The opioid crisis continues to affect people from communities across Ontario, which is evident from the continued increase in opioid-related overdoses as well as the number of occurrences where officers have had to administer naloxone to save the life of a person who is experiencing an overdose.

Key statistical information on opioid-related overdoses and naloxone administration from September 2017 to February 2021 provided by the OPP includes: the majority, 68 percent, of naloxone recipients were male and 32 percent were female; the average age of naloxone recipients was 34.8 for females and 35.5 for males; most incidences occurred inside a residence; the majority of opioid-related overdoses occurred in OPP’s Central and West Regions; there was a 38 percent increase in overdose occurrences attended by the OPP from 2019 to 2020.

The OPP continues to provide victims with referrals to community specific resources and advising the public about harmful substances. See www.opp.ca/opioids for more information.

The OPP has created a framework to support those individuals suffering from substance use disorder, while holding drug traffickers who cause these overdoses accountable. Since 2016, the OPP has investigated 23 occurrences where charges have been laid for manslaughter and/or criminal negligence causing death in relation to fatal overdoses.

“People from every age group and every socioeconomic background continue to be affected by opioids in Ontario. Since 2017, the OPP has saved more than 200 lives by administering naloxone. 

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act can protect you: if you see an overdose, please call 9-1-1. You can help save a life too,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique in the release. 

“At the core of our response to the opioid crisis is the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act,” said Superintendant Bryan MacKillop, director of the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau within the OPP. “If you witness someone experiencing an overdose, please dial 9-1-1 and if you can, stay with the victim to provide support. You could make a difference and save a life.”