ONTARIO – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has saved 210 lives by administering naloxone since frontline officers were equipped 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 a life.

 “People from every age group and every socioeconomic background continue to be affected by opioids in Ontario,” OPP commissioner Thomas Carrique said. “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 911. You can help save a life too.”

Key statistical information on opioid-related overdoses and naloxone administration from September 2017 to February 2021 includes:

  • The majority, 68 per cent, of naloxone recipients were male and 32 per cent 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 per cent 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. Additional details as well as an officer’s experience with administering naloxone can be found at www.opp.ca/news.

“At the core of our response to the opioid crisis is the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act,” OPP director, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau Superintendent Bryan MacKillop said. “If you witness someone experiencing an overdose, please dial 911 and if you can, stay with the victim to provide support. You could make a difference and save a life.”

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.