Saeed Akhtar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter
Halton Regional Police Service has said that if the current trend of suspected drug overdoses continues, they expect to respond to 445 overdoses by the end of the year which can involve losing more than 50 lives.
This year, Halton Police officers have already responded to 150 suspected overdoses that involved either illicit substances, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications.
Eighteen of them didn’t survive.
The police said they were releasing these numbers represented family members, neighbours, loved ones, friends and colleagues.
The police said that someone witnessing an overdose may be afraid to call for help out of fear of being charged with drug possession, but stressed that they had not laid a single charge of simple possession in last two years while responding to a suspected overdose.
On this day in 2017, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act became law. This Act applies to anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose, including the person experiencing an overdose, and provides some legal protection for the person who seeks help, whether they stay or leave the scene before help arrives. The Act also protects anyone else at the scene when help arrives.
The police cited the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act that can shield someone reporting a suspected drug overdose from charges for possessing a controlled substance, and breach of court or parole conditions regarding simple possessions of a controlled substance.
The act also provides some legal protection to the person who is experiencing the overdose.