Overdose prevention workers want efforts scaled up, not put on hold

Police warn of ‘dangerous narcotics’ after seven fatal overdoses in 12 days

Police issue warning after 7 fatal overdoses reported

Toronto police have issued a public safety warning about risky opioids they believe are being sold in the downtown core after seven people died from overdoses over the past 12 days.

"On the other hand, in Thunder Bay, where they have one of the highest overdose death rates in the province and they've been asked to put their temporary overdose prevention site on hold, I can see how people would be pretty frustrated there".

Overdose Prevention Ottawa, which runs a safe consumption space in the city and applied to run a mobile site said that facility's fate is now unclear. "It's the experts. We all have to work together".

The police warning comes a day after the Ontario government paused plans to open three new temporary overdose-prevention sites as it conducts a review to determine if such facilities will continue to operate.

"Look, it's not an easy thing", she said.

On Tuesday, police issued a public safety alert, saying police officers within 14 Division alone have been called to several overdoses, seven of which have proven to be fatal.

According to police, it's believed the drugs responsible are a deadly batch of fentanyl or carfentanil.

"We thought the site was really going to help us reduce the number of deaths and engage more people in discussions about where to access treatment as well", he said, adding that such facilities help build relationships with those who use them. "Seven is certainly something for us to be significantly concerned about".

An advocacy group says a recent string of overdose deaths in a pocket of Canada's most populous city highlights the need for new overdose prevention sites.

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