Timmins Police Issue Drug Warning as Three Die of Lethal Illegal Drug Overdoses

Counterfeit Pills - Image OPP - Largest Fentanyl Bust in Ontario Police history
Counterfeit Pills - Image OPP - Largest Fentanyl Bust in Ontario Police history

Timmins Police Issue Public Advisory on Lethal Drugs

TIMMINS – NEWS – The impact of illegal drugs across Ontario is serious. While often in Thunder Bay we can seem to be like an island where the gangs from Toronto and Ottawa arrive selling their toxic drugs and we all see the impact of addiction, that crisis is not just here. It is Ontario and Canada-wide.

In the last 24 hours, the Timmins Police Service has responded to numerous incidents where persons were in medical distress due to the consumption of illicit substances.

In all, eight persons required immediate first aid from Timmins Police Service officers as they attended the scene of these calls for service.

Three Die in Timmins

Of those, 5 were later revived by EMS paramedics at the various scenes, while sadly, 3 others succumbed to the lethal elements consumed and did not survive.

Based on the above, the Timmins Police Service has found it necessary to issue a Public Advisory strenuously urging all citizens to be mindful that certain substances currently circulating within the drug sub-culture in Timmins can be fatal if consumed.

The Timmins Police Service issue this advisory in direct consultation with our drug strategy community partners, the Porcupine Health Unit, in particular, to address this issue as a direct threat to the welfare of persons afflicted with substance abuse addition or those prone to experimentation with illicit substances.

Naxoline
Naxoline

In regards to our current collaborations, the following is provided by the Porcupine Health Unit in regards to this issue. The Opioid Emergency Response Task Force has been monitoring the increase in suspected opioid-related overdoses across the Porcupine Health Unit area since April. There has been an ongoing alert shared with community partners and the public. Naloxone, the life-saving drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose, is available at all health unit offices, pharmacies, and partners across the region. If you use substances, the health unit offers some important recommendations to help reduce the risk, including not using alone; avoid mixing substances; test a small amount first, and carry naloxone.

The health unit urges community members to please share this alert — talk with loved ones about the current concerns regarding increased overdose risk, with any substances, not just opioids. Please have naloxone on hand, recognize an opioid overdose, call 911, save a life.

Additionally, the Timmins Police Service – Drug Enforcement Section is actively working on current drug cases to locate any persons actively involved in the sale or distribution of such substances.

Furthermore, the Timmins Police Service reminds all citizens that in cases of a suspected overdose, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides protections to those persons rendering assistance to those persons in distress. These persons can remain on scene to provide continued assistance and not be subjected to arrest for simply being in possession of prescribed amounts of controlled substances.

Seeking Solutions with Drug Dealers

Perhaps it is time that the crown prosecutors start seeking penalties including murder charges for the drug dealers who are selling these illegal drugs and in far too many cases killing people.

There are cases across Ontario of fatal doses of fentanyl being administered or sold, and reportedly in some cases victims being injected with the poison resulting in their death.

Sadly far too often we see these criminals arrested, and then released on bail with conditions that they ignore.

Catch and release might work for building up fish stocks, in the case of drug dealers, catch and release simply means more and more people lose faith in the justice system.

Across Ontario, there are drug houses, trap houses as they are called, and these criminals trap addicts into their snares. There are solutions, in Alberta, the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) program that puts the full force of the Alberta Sheriffs behind the legislation to shut down these dangerous homes.

In Thunder Bay, Councillor Aldo Ruberto has headed a move to bring greater by-law enforcement to trap houses.

The Real Solution

The real solution here is not really more enforcement of laws. The real solution is finding the path out of addiction. Treatment centres and counseling is a start. The investment in the prevention of drug use will help by shutting down over time the market for illegal drugs in our communities.

Coming out of COVID-19, Ontario, and Canada will face a steep climb out of the costs of the pandemic. However investment in these kinds of programs will save lives, and cuts costs in the criminal justice system.