Collingwood police board latest to try and tackle opioid crisis
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:04PM EDT
The opioid crisis is plaguing communities across the region. Collingwood is the latest municipality to try and tackle the issue with a drug strategy team.
According to statistics from the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy, last year there were 600 hospital visits across Simcoe and Muskoka for opioid poisoning or 102.7 visits per 100,000 people, well above the provincial average of 63.9.
Health officials say the stats are just the tip of the iceberg. "Many people don't go to hospital when they've overdosed because of the wide access to Naloxone in our communities. Which is a good thing because it's certainly saving lives," Mia Brown with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says.
With the help of public health officials and enforcement experts, Collingwood's police services board is developing a local drug strategy. The police board wants to set up a multi-sector task force similar to those in Barrie and Orillia.
"You don't have to look far across the country to see how many people a day are dying from opiate overdoses," says Insp. Jim Walker.
The board will meet again in the fall to develop terms of reference for the new task force.