St Catharines campaign hopes to raise community awareness of overdoses

Posted by Don Redmond

Posted on September 1, 2021

St Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik said he hopes his city will help break the stigma surrounding drug addicts by participating in International Overdose Awareness Day.

“The flags at the town hall were lowered to remember members of the community who tragically lost their lives due to an overdose and purple ribbons and crosses were placed by members of the community in the ‘honor their loved ones,’ Sendzik said.

From yesterday (August 31) to September 6, the city will partner with the Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara (OPENN) to raise awareness of the impact overdoses have had on young citizens and their families.

“It’s no secret that Niagara has seen an increase in dangerous street drugs and opioid overdoses, and it has become even more serious because of the pandemic,” Sendzik said yesterday.

“Today, as we support those in difficulty and grieving families, we are also taking action by talking about addiction and focusing on young people and adolescents who have increasingly easy access to drugs. dangerous streets. “

While access to free naloxone kits has been a vital resource for many, the dangers of an opioid overdose are still a huge problem in Niagara.

In 2020, 150 people in Niagara died from confirmed opioid-related deaths – about 13 deaths per month. This year, from January to July 2021, Niagara Emergency Medical Services responded to 509 suspected overdoses, or about 73 per month in Niagara.

Increasingly, first responders are seeing the tendency for youth and youth to overdose on dangerous drugs containing fentanyl, which can be fatal.

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