Release Date: April 12th, 2018 - 4:45pm
Originator: Inspector Anthony Odoardi, Office of Continuous Improvement and Strategic Management, 905-825-4777 Ext. 4902
Contact: Inspector Anthony Odoardi, Office of Continuous Improvement and Strategic Management, 905-825-4777 Ext. 4902
Location: Halton Region
While Halton is the safest large municipality in Canada, the incidence of opioid use, abuse and overdoses in our communities continues to increase.
Between 2006 and 2015, there was an approximate doubling of rates of opioid-related emergency department visits in Halton. According to the latest provincial data (released March 7, 2018), there were 1,053 opioid-related deaths from January to October 2017, compared with 694 during the same time period in 2016. Last year alone, there were over 20 occurrences in which fentanyl was seized by Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) uniform patrol.
In October 2016, HRPS led the way by being one of the first police services in the province to strategically distribute naloxone to higher-risk units. In December 2017, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that it would provide funding for life-saving naloxone to all police and fire services across the province.
In this regard, in the coming weeks, HRPS will be expanding distribution of naloxone to the Service’s entire front line.
Naloxone is a recommended front line tool to battle the opioid problem. Naloxone has the potential to be a time-sensitive tool for the preservation of life in the event of a life-threatening opioid-related incident, not just for members of the HRPS, but also for members of the public who come in contact with suspected opioids.
“The safety of the public and of our officers is paramount,” said Halton Regional Police Service Chief Stephen Tanner. “Expanding the deployment of naloxone across our entire front line enhances our ability to deliver emergency life-saving first aid measures, in the same spirit as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). While we are fortunate to live in Canada’s safest regional municipality, we must be prepared to deal with incidents that, while low in frequency, pose a real and tangible threat to community safety and well-being.”
“We continue to remind the public about the dangers associated with the use of opioids, including oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin,” said Chief Tanner. “Naloxone kits are available at a number of locations across the region.”
The deployment of naloxone across HRPS’ front line is supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Halton Regional Police Association, and by the Halton Regional Police Services Board.