Hundreds of lives saved with naloxone, police say
LONDON, Ont. -- New numbers from the OPP and London police show more than 200 lives have been saved by officers giving naloxone.
In the city, London police say they've had a 92 per cent success rate in the first 10 months of 2019, with 103 people surviving overdoses of 111 administered naloxone.
That is compared to the last six months of 2018, when 59 people were administered naloxone, with 57 surviving.
Across the province, OPP say 102 lives were saved using naloxone starting in Sept. 2017 when officers began carrying the medication.
The numbers, which cover the period up to Nov. 2019, also show most incidents occurred in homes and most recipients - 66 per cent - were male.
Most opioid-related overdoses were reported in the OPP's Central and West Region jurisdictions - the West Region includes the area around London.
Provincial police report a 121 per cent increase in overdose occurrences from 2016 to 2018.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said in a statement that the force is taking action, "Saving lives by administering naloxone is just one step. Our officers embody the spirit of the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act as they assist and protect overdose victims while continuing to criminally charge those responsible for trafficking substances that are causing overdoses and sometimes death."
In fact, charges have been laid for manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death in relation to fatal overdoses, 13 times in the four years, with eight occurring in 2019.
More information on opioids is available on the OPP website, and provincial police say they will continue to refer victims to community resources.