Kitchener-Waterloo

WRPS respond to 37 suspected drug overdoses over 8 days

Waterloo Regional Police are sounding the alarm after responding to 37 suspected drug overdose calls between Jan. 24 and 31. Police said officers also responded to a suspected fatal overdose involving purple fentanyl in the area of King Street N. in Waterloo.

Police also responded to a suspected fatal overdose in Waterloo on Monday

Waterloo Regional Police are issuing a warning following a series of overdose calls. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah/The Associated Press)

Waterloo Regional Police are sounding the alarm after responding to 37 suspected drug overdose calls over an eight-day period.

Police said data collection began at on Jan. 24 and wrapped at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Police said officers also responded to a suspected fatal overdose involving purple fentanyl in the area of King Street N. in Waterloo on Monday. Police issued a public warning Tuesday.

"We want to remind the public that street drugs are unpredictable. Drug users are reminded to use the Consumption and Treatment Services site located at 150 Duke St. W., Kitchener, or to use with a partner," police said in a news release.

Insp. Brenna Bonn said it's important to get the safety message out to the public as overdose numbers rise.

"I think that we're seeing an increased number of overdoses. I think that's definitely supported by the number. And I think we have to put these overdose alerts out just to make people aware because we need to prevent any fatal overdoses," said Bonn.

Bonn said police and paramedic services responded to about 102 overdose calls, both non-fatal and fatal, in the month of January 2020. More numbers are expected to be released in the coming days, Bonn said.

Police said if someone is overdosing, people should call 911, administer naloxone and stay with the individual until officials arrive.

"Please note, multiple doses of naloxone may be required. You have the power to save someone's life," police said.

In November, the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy issued an overdose alert after five suspected overdose deaths were reported in the span of a week. 

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