A new organization in Peterborough aims to address the opioid crisis and a lack of education on the issue in the city.
On Tuesday, organizers officially launched Ptbo Strong — a non-profit which aims to raise funds to eventually offer a healing centre for opioid addicts and to educate the public.
To date this year, there have been 154 overdoses, 19 of them fatal, according to the Peterborough Police Service.
“One of the pillars is treatment that is really, sorely in need of more funding,” said Deputy police chief Tim Farquharson who is working with the new group. “So we wanted to raise some awareness and raise funds for anything we could do for treatment, even at the national level.”
Ptbo Strong will fundraise through the sale of T-shirts, charity concert series this September at The Venue and a restaurant coupon book and other initiatives.
“I was hoping to get maybe 30 restaurants and I thought it would be a tough task to get that many,” said co-founder Tim Burke. “I think we have 66. Every restaurant I called said ‘yes, this is an amazing cause.'”
Ptbo Strong is also aiming at education and training in the administration of naloxone — a drug which can reverse the effects of an opioid. Ptbo Strong will offer the training in downtown bars and clubs and expand the training.
The group is also working with Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith to apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission to make naloxone training part of the Smart Serve program currently in place for the hospitality industry.
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