Last week, OPP seized 109.4 grams of fentanyl powder, 66 fentanyl capsules, 25 fentanyl pills, 35 oxycodone pills, eight fentanyl patches at the border in Windsor. the Coroner’s office has reported 11 deaths from fentanyl use between 2010 and 2015. Since January of this year over 50 overdoses from fentanyl has been documented in the Sault alone.
PC Leader Patrick Brown says its Ontario’s newest crisis and the government isn’t doing enough to combat the problem.
“I have met with police associations across the province and there’s a lot of concern about this, we need to take this issue more seriously” Brown told SaultOnline.com.
Brown was in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday to meet with the Sault Police Service abut the ever growing problem of opioid usage.
Brown says the Wynne government is not doing enough to let the public know of services available to help those with addiction to the drug. “This has become a real hazard for our communities”
Fentanyl is a strong opioid that doctors prescribe to help patients manage chronic pain. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 10 times more powerful than heroin. Communities are increasingly reporting the presence of bootleg Fentanyl in local illicit drug markets in pill, powder and liquid formulations.
Brown challenged the government last week in the legislature to use the limited advertising budget on a public awareness campaign about the threat fentanyl is causing Ontario.
“The government is too busy spending the limited budget almost exclusively on vanity ads” Brown said. Brown is referring to an ad campaign recently launched by the Liberals about the rebates on electricity prices.
“How dare they spend money on vanity ads on Hydro and not on public awareness we need to combat this crisis” Brown said.
Brown said under a PC government he would equip the social service agencies and police with the resources they need, “law enforcement need more help,”the reality is this is a new battle for Ontario”
Brown said he would seek to use revenues from the legalization of marijuana to help pay for resources to fight the overdose crisis in the province. The federal government announced last week that legalization of marijuana will happen on July 1st, 2018.
“Over all the addiction crisis is a major problem in our community” Ross Romano, local PC candidate for the yet-to-be-called by-election in Sault Ste. Marie.
Romano says he believes there’s not enough being done with the youth and drug use locally “and that’s where the problems can start”
Police say, bootleg pure Fentanyl is mixed with other cutting agents. This process does not evenly disperse the Fentanyl throughout the finished product (either pill or powder form). This process leaves the drug user with no way of knowing the concentration of the dose that they are consuming, thus increasing the risk of succumbing to an overdose.