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Peterborough’s suspected opioid overdose death toll climbs to 30 in 2019

Peterborough police have confirmed that two more suspected opioid overdose deaths occurred two weeks ago.
Peterborough police have confirmed that two more suspected opioid overdose deaths occurred two weeks ago. The Associated Press

As 2019 draws to a close, Peterborough has seen a total of 30 suspected opioid overdose deaths in the city so far this year.

Peterborough police Deputy Chief Tim Farquharson confirmed to Global News that two more suspected opioid overdose deaths occurred during a single weekend two weeks ago.

Farquharson says the overdoses are believed to be have been caused by fentanyl.

READ MORE: Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath visits Peterborough to discuss opioid crisis

This year has been Peterborough’s worst yet in terms of suspected opioid overdose deaths, with the city experiencing six deaths in the first three weeks of 2019 alone.

The previous worst year was 2017 when the city was hit with 20 suspected overdose deaths.

The recent suspected opioid overdoses come during a provincewide crisis surrounding opioid-related deaths. Currently, Peterborough has the fourth-highest rate of opioid-related deaths in Ontario, according to the Peterborough Drug Strategy.

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READ MORE: Peterborough families share impact of opioids during public meeting

The crisis has prompted talks of a potential safe consumption and treatment facility in the city. The Peterborough Aids Resource Network (PARN), in conjunction with Peterborough police, launched a survey requesting the public’s input on the possibility of such a site in November.

The survey received 1,621 responses in total. On one question, more than 70 per cent of the respondents said they see a benefit in having such a facility in the city.

The full results of the survey can be found here.

Canadian government taking “significant steps” to combat opioid crisis: Public Safety Minister
Canadian government taking “significant steps” to combat opioid crisis: Public Safety Minister