Thunder Bay Opioid Overdose Rate Four Times the Ontario Average
THUNDER BAY – OP-ED – The depth of the drug crisis in Thunder Bay was brought forward by Thunder Bay Police Chief Hauth at this morning’s Thunder Bay Police Services Board.
Chief Hauth explained to the board that there have been 300 overdoses that her officers have responded to in 2021 to date. Of those overdoses, there have been 77 deaths.
The Chief spoke on the number of drug houses or trap houses in the city. Chief Hauth told the board there are between 50 to 75 drug houses in the city.
The average daily take is about $2800 per trap house per day. That would mean a total gross income of as much as $210,000 daily or $6.3 million monthly.
Those stark figures demonstrate that despite the number of trap house raids in recent months that the police service is barely making a dent in the total business of these illegal drug dealers.
The Chief also explained that the number of gangs, and guns in the city is up substantially.
Thunder Bay has a rate of opioid overdoses four times greater than Ontario’s average. In 2020 there were 41.7 deaths from opioid overdoses per 100,000 of our population. The Ontario number is 10.3 for each 100,000 people.
This figure does not include overdoses from fentanyl or other drugs.
So while the Thunder Bay Police and the Ontario Provincial Police have been making drug busts to the level of several a week, taking Southern Ontario drug dealers and their local counterparts into custody.
Incredibly however almost every drug arrest includes charges for breaching conditions of an earlier release for similar charges.
It is almost like police are engaged in a giant catch and release program with drug dealers. It is a cycle that has seen growing numbers of people in our city losing respect for the legal system.