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OPP report: opioid-related overdose deaths rose 34 per cent in 2019

ORILLIA, Ont. — A new report on opioids by the Ontario Provincial Police says that overdose-related deaths went up 34 per cent in the province between 2018 and 2019.

According to the report, 1,163 Ontarians died due to opioid-related causes between January and September 2019.

OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique notes that’s a rate of one opioid-related death every 4.7 hours in the province.

The report also says that the OPP responded to 897 overdose occurrences in 2017, 1,381 in 2018, and 1,625 in 2019. That represents an 81 per cent increase over a three-year period.

Since being equipped with naloxone in September 2017, OPP officers have saved 108 lives, according to the report.

The OPP say they laid 102 charges in 12 overdose-related death investigations in 2019, a 500 per cent increase over 2018 in an effort to hold drug traffickers responsible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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