HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html OD Visits To Hospitals Spike
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Jul 2017
Source: Metro (Ottawa, CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Metro
Author: Kieran Delamont
Page: 3


June a record for number of people treated for overdoses

At least 134 people were admitted to Ottawa emergency departments for
suspected drug overdoses during the month of June, according to data
from Ottawa Public Health, as the overdose crisis continues to deepen
in Ontario.

That brings the number to at least 735 emergency room visits in 2017 -
a 25 per cent increase in overdoses compared with the same period in

In the final week of June, 42 people were treated for overdoses, the
highest number of cases since Ottawa began recording the data in late
2015. During the first week of July, the number dipped slightly to

"Overdoses, whether from drugs, alcohol or a combination of both, are
preventable," said an Ottawa Public Health spokesperson in a written
statement on Tuesday, noting that OPH has been working with "all
Ottawa festival organizers to ensure festivalgoers receive overdose
prevention messaging."

On average, emergency departments have seen 27 cases per week over the
course of 2017, compared to an average of 21 in 2016.

While the data paints a worrying picture of the mounting overdose
crisis in Ontario, it is incomplete. Data reflecting the number of
overdose deaths in Ontario for all of 2016 is not yet available.

In 2015, there were 34 opioid-related deaths in Ottawa. In that same
year, fentanyl - the powerful opioid painkiller that has been
responsible for most overdoses in British Columbia, where the crisis
has hit the hardest - was the most common cause of death among overdoses.

Touted as an effective measure to help prevent overdose deaths, safe
injection sites may soon be available in Ottawa. There are currently
three applications that have been submitted to Health Canada for
exemptions under Bill C-37, a federal bill designed to streamline the
application process.

However, there is no firm timeline for when - or even if - those sites
will be able to begin operation.
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