Police respond to highest number of suspected overdoses and deaths in January

Waterloo regional police responded to 75 suspected overdoses in January, the highest number reported in one month. Police say 10 of those overdoses were fatal.

Police suspect fentanyl and opioid use were cause of overdose calls

Waterloo Regional Police say 10 people died of overdoses in January 2019. Police say there were a record number of calls for suspected overdoses during that month. (CBC)

Waterloo Regional Police said January had the highest number of suspected overdoses ever reported in one month.

In total, officers responded to 75 suspected overdoses throughout Waterloo region during the first month of 2019, 10 of which were fatal.

"Those are alarming numbers to us," Ashley Dietrich, with the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) told CBC News.

Police suspect fentanyl and opioid use were the cause of January's high overdose calls.

Police have a dedicated team through the service's drug and fire arm unit that look at overdose trends in the region and try to bring awareness to the public, Dietrich said.

In 2018, June saw the highest number of overdose calls. Police responded to 65 suspected overdose calls, four of which were fatal. 

March 2018 saw seven overdose fatalities, the highest number of overdose fatalities in a month that year.

Police continue to encourage the public to educate themselves in recognizing the signs of an overdose and to get familiarized with the Good Samaritan Act.