Recent opioid-related deaths raise concerns for West Region OPP

West Region OPP are issuing a reminder about the potentially-lethal consequences of opioid use following a recent string of suspected overdoses and opioid-related deaths.

The West Region OPP, which covers southwestern Ontario, said officers responded to 12 suspected opioid overdoses between May 1 and May 17.

Among those incidents, police reported three deaths related to suspected opioid use.

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The recent string of suspect overdoses accounts for nearly a third of the 37 suspected or confirmed overdoses reported by West Region OPP in 2019.

The numbers were brought up during a virtual briefing on Friday from the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).

“That’s significantly out of line with what you would expect to see over that time period,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health and CEO for the MLHU.

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Mackie added that anecdotal reports from partner agencies, such as the Addiction Services of Thames Valley, have identified reports of deaths in the people they serve over the last week or so.

Coronavirus is just one of the threats that is facing our population right now and we can’t forget about overdoses and other important public health issues,” Mackie said.

So far in 2020, there have been 52 suspected opioid overdoses and 13 opioid-related deaths in West Region, according to the OPP.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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