Thunder Bay

OPP officers report eight naloxone uses in northwest since 2017

OPP officers have used naloxone 102 times since they started carrying it more than two years ago, but very few of those uses have taken place in northwestern Ontario.

Six took place in 2018, two so far in 2019, OPP said

OPP said its officers have administered naloxone eight times in northwestern Ontario since they started carrying the medication in 2017. (CBC)

OPP officers have used naloxone 102 times since they started carrying it more than two years ago, but very few of those uses have taken place in northwestern Ontario.

In a media release issued this week, OPP said most of the incidents in which officers administered naloxone — a medication used to counteract opioid overdoses — took place in southern Ontario.

In fact, since officers started carrying naloxone in September 2017, it's been used in northwestern Ontario only eight times: six in 2018, and twice so far this year (once in June, and once in September).

OPP wouldn't provide any further details in terms of where, specifically, in the northwest its officers have administered naloxone.

 Ontario-wide, most of the incidents that saw naloxone administered took place inside residences, OPP said, and the majority of recipients — 66 per cent — were male.

The average age of naloxone recipients was 31.5 years old for females, and 32 years old for males.

And between 2016 and 2018, the number of overdose-related incidents attended to by OPP officers increased by 121 per cent, the organization said.

OPP said it's also charged a number of traffickers with manslaughter or criminal negligence causing death in relation to fatal overdoses in Ontario.

Over the last four years, OPP officers have laid 13 such charges (a breakdown of how many of each wasn't provided); eight of those were laid this year.